If you’re a fan of history, simply visiting museums isn’t always enough. You’ll get the most satisfaction out of seeing ruins from ancient and medieval times right in front of you, and visiting locations that were once hubs of life and activity in the past.

Whether you’re interested in the wonders of the ancient world, structures that still stand from the Middle Ages, Renaissance art and architecture, relics of modern history, or historic sites that even the most learned historians still can’t explain, we have you covered.

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Check out these 10 destinations that you have to visit if you’re a history-lover.

10 Athens, Greece

Home to the famous Acropolis, Athens is one of the prominent cities when it comes to relics of Ancient Greece. On top of the Acropolis, you’ll see a gateway called Propylaea, which marks its entrance, as well as the small temple of Athena Nike. The area is also home to the iconic Parthenon, which was dedicated to the goddess Athena, and the ruins of Erechtheum.

Elsewhere in Athens, you’ll find evidence of the great Athenian empire which was once based here, in the ruins still visible and the museums displaying various ancient artifacts.

9 Angkor, Cambodia

Once the center of the Khmer Empire, Angkor was once responsible for ruling over the majority of Southeast Asia. The city, filled with temples and other spectacular buildings, was abandoned when the Khmer moved their capital. Angkor was discovered again in the 19th century and has since served as a tourist destination for those interested in seeing the preserved historical relics the city has to offer.

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Among the points of interest is the iconic temple of Angkor Wat, and the city of Angkor Thom. Also, be sure to check out the maze known as Preah Kan.

8 Shaanxi, China

One of the most famous historic sites in the world, the Terracotta Army in Shaanxi, China, should be on the itinerary of every history lover. The life-size figures of the army warriors stand in battle formations and resemble the imperial guard of approximately 200 BCE. Be sure to check out the museum and learn all about the history of the warriors.

The sculptures portray the armies of the first Emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang. They were buried with the emperor in order to protect him as he made his way through the afterlife.

7 Machu Picchu, Peru

The most famous remnant of the Inca civilization is Machu Picchu, located in the Andes. Standing among the mountains, Machu Picchu only served as an Incan city for 100 years and was abandoned to save it from the Spanish conquistadors who arrived in the 16thcentury.

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A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Machu Picchu might be a challenge for some to reach. The hike on the Inca trail takes about four days and months of preparation for most travelers. But it’s worth it to see the Lost City of the Incas in the flesh!

6 Giza Plateau, Egypt

The Giza Plateau is a mecca for anybody interested in ancient history since it’s home a collection of iconic monuments from Ancient Egypt. Situated on the banks of the River Nile, the Giza Plateau boasts such impressive structures as the Great Pyramid of Giza, the Great Sphinx, and numerous other temples and buildings from the Old Kingdom.

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You’ll really feel like you’ve stepped back in time as you tour these famous sites, and learn about the historical period which they represent. The monuments are believed to have been built during the fourth dynasty of the Old Kingdom, over 4,000 years ago.

5 Stonehenge, England

The British Isles feature a long and fascinating history and boast endless buildings and artifacts to see. One site that has captivated the interest of tourists from all over the world, history lovers or not, is Stonehenge. The Neolithic monuments that still stand at the site are shrouded in mystery since the details of their origins have never been confirmed.

Some believe that Stonehenge possesses some kind of healing power. Others believe that the stones were placed there by gods or aliens. Either way, the site should be on your bucket list while in England!

4 Berlin, Germany

The capital of Germany, Berlin was founded by Albert the Bear in 1163. The site of many significant historical events over nearly 1000 years, the city is most famous for its prominent role in modern history, during both the Second World War and the Cold War.

There are several sites that history buffs should visit while in Berlin, including the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, the site of Hitler’s bunker, the old remnants of the Berlin wall, and Checkpoint Charlie. Walking through the stunning city, you’ll notice that many of the pre-war buildings have roofs that are still burned and damaged from falling bombs.

3 Petra, Jordan

The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Petra in Jordan was once a center of economics and trade. Its routes connected the major powers of China, India, and other territories in Arabia with Egypt, Greece, and Syria. Today, it’s a major tourist site of special interest to history-lovers and is visited by thousands of travelers every year.

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You can reach Petra via the sandstone canyon called the siq. When you get there, you’ll find there are endless highlights to see. Check out the Monastery, Theatre, and Treasury among other points of interest.

2 Chichen Itza, Mexico

Chichen Itza was one of the biggest cities in the civilization of the Mayans. Nestled in the jungle, Chicken Itza hosts a variety of ceremonial structures that were of extreme importance during the days of the Mayans. This was once a bustling city full of temples, palaces, observatories, and pyramids.

While visiting Chichen Itza, be sure to visit the Temple of the Warriors and the Great Hall Court. If you visit in March, you’ll see sculptures of Feathered Serpents running down El Castillo in a ceremony that’s known as the Descent of Kukulcan.

1 Rome, Italy

Once the seat of the expansive Roman Empire, Rome is home to several famous structures that any history fan would love to witness first hand. The Colosseum, which was an active part of Roman life, is among the most famous historic sites not just in Italy but in the world. Aside from that, be sure to check out the Forum, the Pantheon, and the Arch of Constantine.

When you’re done visiting the remnants of the ancient world, stop to admire the many Renaissance structures located throughout the Eternal City.

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