With its patchwork of culture and tradition stretching back thousands of years, Europe is every history lover’s dream. There are a great number of historically significant sites to visit and architecture to explore from ancient Greek ruins to the Neoclassicism of France and Hungary. No matter where you go in Europe you are guaranteed to find yourself immersed in the rich history of the place but there are a few major locations that should be on every history buff’s bucket list.

Auschwitz, Poland

Whether you have an interest in World War II history or not, everyone who visits Poland should take this tour of Auschwitz. This site gives visitors an unparalleled insight into life within the confines of the Nazi concentration camps, one that cannot be achieved by just reading about it. The significance of such locations cannot be overstated and it is important to preserve and remember even the upsetting parts of history in order to honour those that endured it and never allow it to be repeated. 

Acropolis of Athens, Greece

The Acropolis of Athens is the peak of ancient Greek architecture and home to the world-famous Parthenon. This world heritage site is believed to be an astounding 2,400 years old, one of only a few locations globally where you can find such ancient ruins still standing.  

Berlin Wall, Germany

The Berlin Wall was erected in 1961 to prevent thousands of Germans from fleeing East Berlin to West Berlin and it stood, dividing the city for 28 years. Whilst the wall was torn in 1989, it still stands in a few preserved sections across Berlin with accompanying information plaques where you can read about its historical significance and understand why this landmark has become a worldwide symbol of liberation. 

Pompeii, Italy

Pompeii provides an extremely unique experience that cannot be found anywhere else in the world (except the neighbouring city of Herculaneum, which you should also visit at the same time if you can). This once prosperous Roman city is forever frozen under a thick blanket of volcanic ash as a result of the devastating 79AD eruption of Mount Vesuvius. Here you can walk amongst the crumbling architecture and view the stone-coated bodies of those who lost their lives, still perfectly preserved in the positions they died in.

Colosseum, Italy

There is a reason that the Colosseum is considered to be one of the wonders of the ancient world. The heart of Rome is an essential travel location for anyone with even a passing interest in the customs of Imperial Rome as this impressive monument is the symbol of Rome’s heritage.

Mont-Saint-Michel, France

Mont-Saint-Michel was previously a bustling pilgrimage site with a stunning medieval abbey situated on an island in Normandy, France. These days you can walk out to the island (only at low tide) and explore its monachal history whilst taking in the far-reaching sights. The history of this location is a huge draw but what makes it so unique is the fact that whilst you can easily walk out to Mont-Saint-Michel when the tide is out, it transforms into an island once the tide comes in.