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5 Bucket List Vacations for History Buffs


Everyone has a bucket list of dream vacations. If you love history and ancient civilization, make sure your list includes these iconic destinations.

The world is full of unbelievable, awe-inspiring sights to visit.

This is especially true if you have a passion for ancient cultures and historical events. From the last archaeological examples of long-gone civilizations to the mysterious remnants of societies that today’s scholars are still researching, the world is full of dream destinations for history lovers.

It’s always the perfect time to create your list of perfect vacations.

Plan for a lifetime of adventure and learning with these bucket list vacations for history buffs.

Machu Picchu – Peru

Aerial View of Machu Picchu with clouds
Taken by J. Berman via unsplash.com. [Public Domain].

Often referred to as the “Lost City of the Incas,” Machu Picchu is the most iconic remnant of the ancient Inca civilization. The city sits in the Andes Mountains, nearly 8000 feet above sea level. For the truly adventurous, you can take the four- to five-day hike up the Inca Trail to reach the city. Inside the city’s ruins, you will find examples of classical Inca architecture, including terraced fields, temples, and ritual stones. Many historians believe the Incans abandoned the city to protect it from the pillaging of Spanish invaders. As a result, the site is better preserved than many other Incan cities.

Related Read: 25+ Machu Picchu Facts: Trivia About Peru’s Mountaintop Wonder

Reginald’s Tower – Ireland

Reginald's Tower Waterford Ireland is one of the best Bucket List Vacations for History Buffs
Reginald’s Tower in Waterford, Ireland. Taken by Wikimedia Commons user Vadrefjord. [CC BY-SA 4.0].

Located in Waterford—Ireland’s oldest city—Reginald’s Tower is among the most historically significant places in Ireland. Anglo-Norman invaders built the tower in the 12th century when they conquered Waterford, replacing an earlier Viking fortification. The tower served as the cornerstone of the city’s medieval defense system. In the centuries since then, however, it’s taken on many different purposes, including a prison, an armory, and a mint. Today, Reginald’s Tower stands as Ireland’s oldest civic building, displaying the proud history of the building, city, and nation.

Berlin Wall – Germany

graffiti on the Berlin Wall history tourism
Some graffiti on the Berlin Wall. Taken by Luis Diego Hernández via unsplash.com. [Public Domain].

Germany is full of poignant reminders of both World War II and the Cold War. One that draws much attention is the Berlin Wall. Built in 1961 to physically separate Soviet East Germany and the Western Alliances of West Germany, the wall divided the city for over 28 years. It served as a stark physical reminder of the political tensions occupying the rest of the country and the world. Today, visitors will find the remnants of the wall covered in murals and graffiti from artists around the world. You can also experience the subtle archaeological and cultural differences between former East and West Berlin, as well as other reminders of the era.

Related Read: Monte Kali: A Sky-High Table Salt Mountain Grows in Central Germany

Petra – Jordan

rock architecture in Petra Jordan for history buffs
Rock architecture in Petra, Jordan. Taken by Emile Guillemot via unsplash.com. [Public Domain].

In the southwestern desert of Jordan lies one of the world’s most famous archaeological sites. Petra dates back to roughly 300 B.C. and once served as a bustling economic center. Its trade routes connected Egypt, Greece, and Syria to China, India, and other major economic powers of the time. Petra was also once the capital of the Nabatean Kingdom. Visitors can see the tombs, temples, and gorgeous carvings within the site. You can also enjoy the beautiful pink sandstone cliffs that make up the area, along with other points of interest such as the Monastery, Theatre, and Treasury.

Giza Plateau – Egypt

Giza Plateau in Egypt for historical tourism
Giza Plateau in Egypt with the pyramids in the background. Taken by Hana El Zohiry via unsplash.com. [Public Domain].

As one of the most iconic locations in the world, the Giza Plateau is one of the most sought-after bucket list vacations for history buffs. On the banks of the Nile River sits this collection of some of Egypt’s most famous monuments. Of course, the Great Pyramid of Giza itself is a must-see for anyone in the area. However, you can’t forget the other temples and archaeological wonders in the area. The Giza Plateau also houses the Great Pyramids of Khufu, Khafre, and Menkaure, as well as the Great Sphinx, several cemeteries, and other ancient buildings from the Old Kingdom.

Related Read: 23+ Places to Travel Without Leaving Your Home or Dealing With Crowds

Grace Brewer
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Grace Brewer
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