Best European Cities for History Lovers
Millions of tourists and history buffs flock to Europe each year to discover a continent which is packed with ancient cities, cultural sights and historical sites.
The beauty of Europe is its wide variation of cultures which are just a short distance apart and over the years this has been a continent which has undergone huge changes both culturally and politically.
If you are looking for the perfect trip which will afford you the luxury of being able to dig into the past, here is our list of unmissable European cities to consider visiting.
1. Rome, Italy
The Romans are probably the most famous and most celebrated of the ancient civilizations and in Italy’s capital you are going to find some of the most well preserved ancient temples and ruins in the world.
There are so many fascinating places to check out including the Colosseum, the Pantheon, the Trevi Fountain, the Vatican, St Peter’s Basilica and the Sistine chapel. This is a city which has historical monuments and ruins around every corner.
Wandering around Rome is like being in a real life history book.
2. Athens, Greece
Greece and its surrounding islands are packed with history with ancient ruins and archaeological sites located throughout the country. Athens is a great place to visit first as the history of this nation is very much the centerpiece for the modern day city.
In the heart of Athens is the world-famous Acropolis, an ancient citadel which is incredibly well preserved and which offers a wonderful insight into life back hundreds of years. If you are keen to visit Greece you must also combine a trip to Athens island hopping.
Staying on an island like Mykonos is highly recommended, this island offers modern shops, beaches, ruins and a rich heritage. Have a look here for the perfect hotel.
3. London, England
London’s history can be found in its many museums and also on the streets. There are lots of world famous buildings to visit which give you a glimpse into the past of the British capital.
From the Tower of London to Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace, the history of the monarchy and the ruling powers of the UK are found here in the hearty of London.
Beyond the streets you can find interesting museums like the British museum, the Victoria and Albert museum, War museum or the Natural History museum which have exhibitions that take a deeper look into the past.
World War 2 ended just over 70 years ago and at the heart of that conflict was the city of Berlin. Germany doesn’t hide from its past but instead shows its scars and takes responsibility for its actions, this can be seen best in Berlin.
There are lots of museums in Berlin which you can visit including Topography of Terror and the Jewish museum where you can learn more about the holocaust.
The East Side Gallery is a celebration of the bringing down of the Berlin wall with once divided this city and the Holocaust memorial offers pause for thought for anyone who takes an interest in modern history.
5. Paris, France
Paris is one of the most visited cities in the world and for good reason. There’s nowhere in the world like Paris and this city has some of the most famous cultural sites in the world including the Louvre and Eiffel Tower.
Museums in Paris to check out include the Musee des Archives Nationales, Nissim de Camondo and Musee Carnavalet whilst you can also experience some of the top rated art galleries in the world here including getting to see the Mona Lisa.
6. St Petersburg, Russia
St Petersburg has a fascinating past and is a city with so many stunning grandeur buildings. This is one of the more underrated cities to visit on our list but you won't regret planning a trip here if you have a passion for history.
There are over than 250 museums in the city, yes 250! You will fall in love with St Petersburg which is known as the Venice of the north due to the countless canals traversing the city.
7. Edinburgh, Scotland
Edinburgh even today looks like somewhere from the past with the impressive Edinburgh Castle looming high over the city.
This world famous Scottish city has history around every corner and thousands of tourists flock here throughout the year but especially to experience the Hogmany festival for New Years Eve.
Top places to check out for culture and history include Holyroodhouse Palace, Craigmillar Castle and the Rosslyn Chapel. But just walking around the cobbled old streets of Edinburgh will transport you back to a bygone era.
8. Budapest, Hungary
Budapest is the perfect city break destination for culture vultures, and also one of the best value cities on our list.
The capital of Hungary is perfect for history lovers with so much heritage and cultural sites. Places to add to your itinerary include the Buda Castle, the parliament building, Fisherman’s Bastion and Matthias Church.
The House of Terror is recommended for an eye opening experience into the cities brutal past whilst The Aquincum Museum is a great place to see archeological pieces of interest.
These European cities are certainly some the best in the continent if you have an interest in history. Each city is different and offers a fascinating cultural experience. If you would like to see as many places as possible, you might want to consider booking a tour of Europe where you will get to learm more about the destinations you visit with an experienced guide.
Have you been to any of the cities on our list? Got any tips to share? Or would you like to recommend somewhere we have missed? Let us know in the comments section below.