Top 10 Historical Travel Destinations

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If you are looking to travel and want to go back in time here are ten great historic travel destinations for the history buff on the go. From Castles to Great Walls to Pyramids here you will find 10 Historical destinations that everyone should visit. Do you have any places in mind that are both historic and a travel destination? Please leave a comment and name the place.

10. European Castles

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Dotted all throughout Europe there are thousands of Medieval and Baroque castles that conjure up images of fairytale princesses and chivalrous knights. They were not only built as protective fortresses but also as the homes of feudal lords and kings that showed their wealth and status. Some of the most impressive examples include Germany’s Neuschwanstein Castle, France’s Palace of Versailles, Ireland’s Blarney Castle, Sintra Palace in Portugal, Turkey’s Topkapi Palace, Prague Castle in the Czech Republic and Leeds Castle in England.

9. Stonehenge

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While there are several theories around the functionality of this Neolithic monument, no one can argue that within minutes of arriving you find yourself pondering the mystery of Stonehenge. The major rivaling theories are that it was either built as an astronomical observatory or religious site while others believe that the bluestones were thought to have healing powers. Construction first began around 3000 BC and was carried out in three separate stages hundreds of years apart.

8. Angkor Wat

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Angkor Wat is easily the most recognizable temple in Cambodia as well as one of the most beautiful. It was built in the early 12th century by King Suryavarman II to act as his state temple and capital city. The best example of Khmer architecture, which includes many bas-reliefs and devatas, Angkor Wat is unique in that it is the only such temple that is oriented towards the west.

7. The Great Wall of China

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One of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Great Wall is an impressive feat of engineering. The Wall is the product of 21 centuries of building and rebuilding that began in the 5th century BC, and was used to protect the Empire of China from Xiongnu attacks. Although sections of the current wall, which dates back to the Ming Dynasty, are in total disrepair, near tourist centers it has been well preserved and even reconstructed to give visitors a glimpse of its former glory.

6. Machu Picchu

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Machu Picchu, known to many as “The Lost City of the Incas”, is the most impressive remainder of the Incan Empire. It was built in 1462 AD and abandoned only a hundred years later, which saved it from plunder and destruction at the hands of Spanish conquistadors, who were unaware of its location. American historian Hiram Bingham rediscovered Machu Picchu in 1911. The three primary structures are the Temple of the Sun, the Room of the Three Windows and the Intihuatana Stone, an astronomical clock or calendar that has been dubbed “The Hitching Point of the Sun”.

5. The Parthenon

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The Parthenon is an elegantly crafted symbol, not only of Ancient Greece, but also of the very roots of democracy. The current building was built Pericles in the mid-5th century BC as a Doric temple to the goddess Athena and also as a treasury for the Delian League. Many of the sculptures, referred to as the marbles, have been removed and now reside in the British Museum, the Louvre and other museums despite efforts by the Greek government to return them to their proper place.

4. The Taj Mahal

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The Taj Mahal is one of the most stunning structures in the world and the story behind its construction is just as beautiful. The Taj was built between 1632 and 1653 by Emperor Shah Jahan to serve as a mausoleum and monument to his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. It was constructed by twenty thousand workers from marble and inlayed with twenty-eight different kinds of precious and semi-precious stones from across India and Asia.

3. Petra

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The ancient Nabataean capital of Petra was built around 100 BC and was a site where many ancient trade routes converged making its residents very wealthy. Some of the major attractions are the Theatre and the Monastery, but the most recognizable is the Al Khazneh, commonly referred to as the Treasury, that’s use was a mystery until a recant excavation found that the Khazneh is really a tomb, probably of the royal family.

2. Rome

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The Eternal City is filled with some of the most stunning and iconic architecture in the world. Layers of Ancient Roman, Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque buildings are to be seen at almost every turn. However, no trip to Rome is complete without taking in the Coliseum, the Roman Forum, the Pantheon, the Circus Maximus, the Arch of Constantine, Fontana di Trevi and at least one of the many historic piazzas throughout the city.

1. Egypt

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Egypt it one of the most culturally rich countries in the world and one of the most ancient tourist spots in the world having played host to many visitors from ancient Greece and Rome. Of course the site that is most synonymous with the image of Egypt is the Great Pyramid and the Sphinx at Giza. Other must see sights include the Valley of the Kings, Abu Simbel, the Egyptian Museum, Saqqara, Luxor and Karnak, all of which will make you feel like you’ve taken a step back in time to the lands of Ancient Egypt.


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54 Comments

  1. Jonathan Hopkins on

    Even with that erroneous statement about the Great Wall, this is still a great list. Stunning visuals

  2. Re Stonehenge: "While there are several theories around the functionality of this Neolithic monument, no one can argue that within minutes of arriving you find yourself pondering the mystery of Stonehenge." – No, having been there myself you immediately wonder why there is a 4 lane motorway 10 meters over, why no-one is allowed anywhere near it and why there is nothing provided to inform or educate the tourist about it. Stonehenge sucks, it shouldn't be on this otherwise great list.

    • There's no motorway near Stonehenge, just the A303… but actually I find that more interesting than Stonehenge itself, which I agree is boring.

  3. I do not understand, why stonehege appear in these list.

    Th site is over hyped and nothing is there except stones. There should be campaign to remove stonehenge from all these list. A recent study from NY university is proved that most of the things are over hyped and there is NOTHING special about this site

  4. The world is so big and there are so many wonderful things to see and places to visit…and you put Stonehenge in a top 10 list? Really? It's just a bunch of rocks for Christ's sake, there is nothing to see there.

  5. Okay, I get it. People don't like Stonehenge. Sheesh. 😉

    And the reason these are regular tourist destinations is because they are the top 10 travel destinations. I think we need a top 10 Least Known Travel Destinations list. Anyone feel up to writing that? Contact [email protected] if you are.

  6. The 4 Season Travel on

    Yeah, it's hard to disagree with this list. And great pictures! I love lists like this! I just made a list on my blog of Destinations for Outdoor Activities. And I would like to see more travel destination lists. It's always great inspiration!

  7. tommychurchill on

    Ah come on, so Stonehenge isn't as impressive looking as the rest of the things on the list, but then it is over 2500 years older than the next nearest competitor here, so that's gotta count for something! +1 for the crappy old pile of rocks! 😛

  8. great list, good work. "doing" is always better than the babbling of arm-chair expert do nothings.

    however:

    why shouldn't stonehenge be on the list??? can YOU build better?

    they're ALL just "a pile of rocks" anyway. spectacular achievments, but rocks all the same. what's so special about jerusalem? oh, that's just a pile of jews. like NY!

    the stonehenge "study", offered by the dude in his mothers basement is meaningless, especially when you consider less than 80% of americans can even properly identify the US (you know, where THEY LIVE), on an unmarked world map; they certainly couldn't identify England let alone stonehenge, or any other of the beautiful world sites listed. how embarrassing.

    • Well said!!!
      I think its a must…personaly not in the top….Iv only been to 8 of this list and every place was great.

      • You only (repeat) ONLY been to 8 out of the 10 places above. Am from Co. Durham and haven’t been as far a field as Northumberland or North Yorkshire. A bet none of the people from the places above have been out there home place aswell. You rich people are extremely lucky, compared to the poor who cant afford to travel or do hobbies they enjoy because of minimum wage… People born with physical and mental health problems should be given the opportunity to travel and see these wonderful places, not these overpaid lawyers, solicitors and sportsman (always have the best of both worlds). Makes me sick!! This list is only for the rich travelleres anyhow, thats why there is not places in the middle east mention like Jerasulam, Syria (Damascus, Aleppo), Iraq, Turkey, Lebanon, Palestine (Jericho) ect. All these places are 5,000 – 11,000BC.

  9. I find that Florida is perfect as a holiday destination not only because of Disney World and the miles of beaches, but also because of the many wilderness and adventure experiences that one can enjoy. Just visit http://holidayflorida.net/ and see for yourself.

  10. your brother on

    Does anyone here realize that Stonehenge was built before the invention of the wheel? I would like to see one of you push one of those ten ton rocks more than five feet. Much less, stand one on it's end.

  11. Katthetraveler on

    I've been to dozens of European castles, Rome and Stonehenge and more since I started traveling in 1994, so I've seen a few things on this list. Stunning visuals — others are right. This site just reaffirms how exciting, deep and complex our world is, and how much there is to see. I'll be taking off this summer 2009 for the first time in 12 years to have surgery, but I always travel every chance I get. Thanks again for renewing my wanderlust! Cheers.

  12. @tommychurchill

    Stonehenge is not 2500 years older than everything on the list. Egypt as a country has monuments that predate it. The Giza Pyramids were potentially built at the same time, though there is some evidence Stonehenge could have been built a few hundred years earlier. Of course, there are older sites in Egypt.

  13. A fine list…

    However as always, these lists are very individual and sometime the greatest experience when travelling is finding your own favorite place on the planet. So actually to avoid, or spend less time at, some of the most popular sites can improve your travel experience.

    My favorite place is Lake Toba in Indonesia (Sumatra)

  14. i have visited The Great Wall of China last year and The Taj Mahal 3 years ago. both are very nice. we must visit these place once in life. and i have plan to visit Machu Picchu and egypt. i thing both are nice place to visit. thanks for sharing.

  15. Travel destinations on

    Awesome.. This information is splendid. The way these spots are represented with photographs is amazing. I have been to 4 places.. But desperate to witness all these Historical places.. Thanks a lot buddy!! Keep it up!!

  16. There's just too many places on Earth that are must-sees for travel destination. If you're all griping about Stonehenge, what about Easter Island? What about Ayers Rock? What about the Northern Lights? Some of these destinations are personal, just like how this list is based on personal opinion. Stonehenge is still a top travel destination too. Great list, by the way.

  17. i m agree with your blog and all picture and 10 historical place are must important place but lonely planet decleared nepal is one of best place to travel with in top ten travel place and national gegrophy channel decleared nepal is one of best adventure place within 25 place so if you dont include nepal then your blog is not complet. so i suggest to add nepal also in your blog.any way thanks for sharing top ten best travel place

    Best regard

    Everest expedition

  18. Might I make a pretty decent substitution for Stonehenge? The Orkney Islands, off the north coast of Scotland, are packed with history. From the chambered tombs at Maeshowe and the Tomb of the Eagles, to the obligatory stone circle of the Ring of Brodgar, the wonderfully preserved 8000 year old village at Skara Brae, and a tonne of Viking history as well.

  19. Nepal trekking on

    really really amazin collection. all are so nice but i like very much " STONEHENGE" and "The Great Wall of China". i have aim to visit The Great Wall of China in near future. thank you so much for sharing

  20. holidays to egypt on

    All top destinations suggested here are really very very famous and amazing places to go for a fantastic holidays.Specially Egypt is famous for its ancient civilization and some of the world's most famous monuments, including the Giza pyramid complex and its Great Sphinx.

  21. Ho yes, nevermind Stonhenge, go to Jerusalem!

    I so love Venice Italy too, my favourite town in the whole world.

    I used to live in Versailles for 2 years, my second favorite town. This palace is really sexy… I can't guess why…

    And the third is Istambul, so " like home "

    For the greek statues in the Louvre, in fact, except the Venus of Milo, all the statues are copies.

    Perhaps copies from the british museum ones, I don't know.

    But there are no genuine greek statues in the Louvre.

  22. Nice to see that you have included Taj Mahal in your list of historical travel destinations. Angkor wat, the oldest temple in Cambodia is really beautiful and I liked that place very much.

  23. and most probably the eurupean castles should be out of the list making entry for dubai which i will probably exchange with macchu picchu to be at 1

  24. There are far more historical and impressive castles in Europe than Neuschwanstein Castle, which for some reason is the most well known and photographed (pictures in #10). It isn't even that old, it was started in the mid 1800's and wasn't finished until the late 1800's… my great grandmother was alive in the late 1800's so I don't consider that to be very old, at least by European standards. Having been there, I can say it is beautiful and scenic, but still pretty modern. It wasn't Medieval, it was just a super fancy private residence for the king at that time, and other than him living there on occasion, nothing really happened there. More interesting than the castle is the story of King Ludwig himself.

  25. Out of all these destination. According to me European castles are worth seeing. The one in Bavaria germany is just breathtaking castle I have ever seen. Neuschwanstein castle is just like a castles in fairy tale. It is the only place in Germany which I always would like to see and explore.

  26. Machu Picchu on

    The Inca citadel of Machu Picchu (Now one of the new 7th wonders of the world) is one of the most important tourist attractions in Peru. Discovered in 1911 by the American explorer, Hiram Bingham, this city is considering one of the most extraordinary examples of scenic architecture in the whole world. If you want to enjoy more pictures about Machu Picchu you can visit the next link.

    http://www.yesperu.com/En/Machupicchu.aspx

    • I agree, This list is only for the rich and safe thinking travelers, that’s why there is not places in the middle east (war zones) mentioned like Jerasulam, Syria (Damascus, Aleppo), Iraq, Turkey, Lebanon (Beirut, which is stunning), Palestine (Jericho) ect. All these places are 5,000 – 11,000BC. Anyhow wasn’t the overated Stonehenge built in 3000 BC to 2000 BC where as Wayland’s Smithy was built between 3590 and 3550 BC. Surely Stonehenge can’t be a hot spot for tourists, there’s a bit of history there but shouldn’t be mentioned as a travel destination. Not like people travel there from all over the world… I also think a place in France should be mentioned as a lot of the older generation like to travel there! Anyhow the world has lovely places in every continent. My personal favourite would be Madagascar because of the wildlife.

  27. angkor watt was built by the dravidians a thousand years ago..i think if you ignore this fact you are ignoring the immense influence of this culture in asia..including the written script in thailand etc
    ..i agree about stonehenge..it really should not be there…there are many other more impressive historic sites

  28. I love this list! I’ve been in a few of this places.But next time you should include -The Castle in Niemodlin. It has very interesting story around it there is lots of stuff going on .Apparently there was 10 truck of gold hidden in the castle and some time ago they ever discover new secret tunnels. For more information Check out Niemodlin Website.

    http://polishcastle.uk/

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