Beyond Textbooks: Best International Destinations For Teens Obsessed With History

A teen girl stands on a hill looking across Athens to the acropolis.

Beyond textbooks lie the mysteries of the past in international destinations, waiting to be uncovered by curious teens obsessed with history! There are gems around every corner, from Greece’s Acropolis and ancient ruins to Italy’s Renaissance-era landmarks. Egypt’s majestic pyramids stand tall over miles of sand-encrusted desert, while China boasts unforgettable medieval marvels such as the Great Wall and Terracotta Army. The possibilities are endless when it comes to discovering beyond what is written on paper! Not only that, but these locations will also allow teenagers to immerse themselves in centuries-old civilizations and better understand how people overcame adversity throughout time. In this article, we’ve rounded up some options for all kinds of history-loving teens, whether they’re into ancient history, medieval, or a bit of both. Keep reading to plan your adventure filled with fascinating stories, stunning architecture, and incredible artifacts! 

Best Places for Teens Who Love Ancient History

Whether it’s walking in the footsteps of pharaohs at Egypt’s legendary pyramids or visiting Rome’s Colosseum, where gladiators once battled it out centuries ago, these destinations will take your breath away, especially if your teen loves ancient history. Keep reading to find the best international destinations for teens obsessed with history! 

Athens, Greece

Historic structures at the Parthenon in Athens, Greece, one of the best international destinations for teens interested in history.
Photo Courtesy: Spencer Davis

Satisfy your teen’s unquenchable thirst for knowledge and ignite their sense of wonder in the birthplace of democracy, Athens, Greece! As one of the best international destinations for teens who love ancient history, Athens is a city steeped in myth and legend. It also holds a special place in world history. With ruins dating back thousands of years and museums filled with artifacts from bygone eras, this cultural hub boasts countless opportunities to explore its storied past.

Of course, one must-visit site for ancient history enthusiasts is the Acropolis. The iconic architectural site has stood for over 2,500 years and was once home to some of the most important events in Greek mythology. It’s also home to the famous Parthenon, the Ancient Agora, the Temple of Olympian Zeus, and the National Archaeological Museum.

Athens also has plenty to offer beyond just historical landmarks. The vibrant street art scene adds color and character throughout neighborhoods like Psirri or Monastiraki, where you might even find some cozy cafes with delicious local food!

Getyourguide offers a Athens: Acropolis, Parthenon, and Museum Tour with Tickets (guided tour), Athens: Acropolis and 6 Archaeological Sites Combo Ticket (entry tickets), or Athens: National Archeological Museum Private Guided Tour.

Other Places for History-Loving Teens to Visit in Greece

If your teen has an insatiable love for ancient history, then Greece has some of the best international destinations lined up just for you! Apart from all the usual hotspots like Athens, there are other amazing places that can satisfy your thirst for exploration. Keep reading to find out more! 

  • The Archaeological Site of Delphi, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was once considered to be one of the most important religious sanctuaries in ancient Greece. Here, families can witness incredible ruins such as the Temple of Apollo and the Theater where the Pythian Games were held.
  • Knossos, an ancient Minoan city on the island of Crete, is considered the oldest city in Europe. It’s also home to the Palace of Knossos, built around 1900 BC. Its Minoan civilization offers a fascinating window into their daily life with various rooms containing frescoes depicting nature scenes or everyday happenings. 
  • The Medieval City of Rhodes is also worth mentioning as it contains awe-inspiring medieval structures such as the Palace of Grand Master Knights and Street of Knights, which will leave any teen mesmerized by its beauty and grandeur. 
  • Old Town Corfu, another UNESCO World Heritage site ensconced within Venetian fortifications that date back centuries ago, showcases traditional architecture complemented by narrow streets paved with cobblestones. This unique blend of old meets new, leaving any history buff impressed by how much can change while remaining familiar over hundreds of years! 

Then, add one of these amazing stops to your itinerary! Here are 8 Stunning Greek Islands For Families To Visit On Vacation.

Rome, Italy

A young girl takes a picture of the Vatican while in Rome with her family.
Photo Courtesy: Gunjan Prakash

For teens who are fascinated by ancient history, Rome is the ultimate destination! With abundant historical sites and landmarks, it’s easy for teenagers to immerse themselves in the stories surrounding this incredible city. Start with a visit to the Colosseum and walk through tunnels that once housed gladiators almost 2,000 years ago. Imagine yourself in their shoes as they faced off against ferocious animals!

Then, check out the Pantheon, which dates back to 27 BC and has been used as a church for over 1,400 years! Teenagers will be amazed at how well-preserved this structure is despite its age. Once the commercial and political hub of Ancient Rome, The Roman Forum is another must-see spot. Of course, when in Rome, don’t forget to make a wish in the Trevi Fountain as they did in Fellini’s La Dolce Vita. You can even add this Rome: 3-Hour Bike Tour from GetYourGuide to learn more about this ancient city together.

Afterward, don’t miss out on soaking in all the artistry in Vatican City, both at St. Peter’s Basilica and inside Vatican Museums. They house some of the world’s greatest works of art produced by legends like Michelangelo! 

Finally, if you have a foodie teen, consider adding a Small-Group Rome Food Walking Tour: Trastevere, Campo dei Fiori, and the Jewish Ghetto to your itinerary too!

Consider these following tours: Colosseum, Roman Forum & Palatine Hill Priority Access Guide from Getyourguide, Private Tour Vatican and St Peter’s Basilica and Best of Rome Walking Tour Pantheon, Piazza Navona, and Trevi Fountain from Viator.

Find the best museums in Rome for teens by reading about these 18 Fantastic Museums In Rome For Kids (By Age!).

Other Places for History-Loving Teens to Visit in Italy

Italy is the perfect destination for teens who love history! While Rome may be the first place that comes to mind when thinking of historical sites, there are many other hidden gems waiting to be explored. Here are some ideas! 

  • Pompeii is an incredible city frozen in time by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. Families can check out the ruins of the volcano and see ancient buildings at Pompeii Archaeological Park or see frescoes at Villa dei Misteri. Walking through the streets will also give teens a glimpse into what life was like in ancient Roman times.
  • The historic center of Naples lets families relive history from its Greek and Roman origins to its years as an important center for art during the Renaissance. Teens can visit ancient churches and catacombs or stroll along its narrow alleys filled with pizzerias and gelaterias. 
  • Meanwhile, teens who love medieval history will appreciate visiting Siena’s Historic Centre with its well-preserved Gothic buildings and stunning cathedral adorned with works by some of Europe’s greatest artists. 

Getyourguide offers Florence: Accademia Gallery Guided Tour and Florence: Entry to Brunelleschi’s Dome and Cathedral Complex. Reserve your tours today!

READ NEXT: An Exciting 5 to 10-Day Rome Itinerary With Kids: What To Do And Where To Go

Cairo, Egypt

A family of four sits atop camels in front of the Pyramids of Giza, one of the best international destinations for teens interested in history.
Photo Courtesy: Anna Massion

Cairo, Egypt, is one of the best international destinations for teens who love ancient history! As soon as you step foot in this bustling city, you’ll be transported back in time to the land of Pharaohs and pyramids. Of course, The Giza Pyramids are a must-see landmark, where teens will marvel at its size and grandeur, while also learning about its fascinating history dating back more than 4,500 years. Another impressive site is The Sphinx, a testament to Egyptian architecture and mythology.

Then, Khan El Khalili Bazaar provides an immersive shopping experience for teens looking for unique souvenirs or traditional clothing items. At Cairo’s Egyptian Museum, you can see thousands of artifacts, including mummies, jewelry, pottery items, and statues. Additionally, Al-Azhar Park offers stunning views over Cairo’s skyline while also providing educational opportunities about Islamic culture and gardens dating back centuries ago. 

Another must-visit attraction is the Cairo Citadel of Saladin – a UNESCO World Heritage Site that served as a military fortress during medieval times. The citadel boasts stunning views over Cairo and offers visitors an opportunity to step back in time. Lastly, visits to spiritual landmarks such as Ibn Tulun Mosque provide insight into religious practices throughout Egypt’s rich history.

Reserve Museum of Egyptian Civilization, Citadel & Old Cairo Tour or Cairo: Pyramids of Giza, Sphinx, Saqqara & Memphis Tour through Getyourguide here!

Use this to help you plan: An Amazing 2-Week Egypt Itinerary For Families: Best Things To See & Do With Kids

Other Places for History-Loving Teens to Visit in Egypt

Teens who love ancient history can look no further than Egypt for an incredible adventure! While the pyramids of Giza are undoubtedly impressive, other areas of this fascinating country offer just as much intrigue and wonderment. 

  • Aswan is a peaceful city located on the Nile River. It boasts magnificent temples, such as Abu Simbel, dating back to when the High Dam was built. Then, make your way from Aswan to Luxor on this Overnight Nile Cruise.
  • The city of Luxor offers incredible insights into pharaonic civilization with monuments like Karnak Temple, one of the largest religious structures ever created, and Hatshepsut’s Temple at Deir el-Bahri. Adventurous families can also embark on this Luxor: Hot Air Balloon Ride for a new perspective.
  • ​Just outside Luxor lies Valley of the Kings, where visitors can discover secret tombs filled with ancient treasures from King Tutankhamun and other Pharaohs’ reigns. This burial site contains over 60 tombs that are sure to fascinate teens! 
  • Want to know more about powerful queens in Ancient Egyptian History? Hop over to Valley of the Queens, where these women’s stories come alive amidst well-preserved art and design details in their resting places. Once an exclusive burial place only reserved for the elite, it’s now an open-air museum full of intricate artifacts! 

Then, read: 12 Tips For Visiting Egypt With Kids: How To Plan An Awesome Family Vacation

Petra, Jordan

A mom and her three sons sit along the rocks looking out onto a historic sight in Petra.
Photo Courtesy: Nicky Williams

As one of the best places for adolescents to geek out on historical sites and stories, Petra boasts an impressive collection of architectural wonders that have stood the test of time. In fact, when you enter this mystical city through the narrow Siq, you’ll be transported back to a fascinating era when caravans of traders from far-off lands roamed the dusty streets and mighty kings ruled over their kingdoms.

The first stop on your tour should be the Al-Khazneh, aka the Treasury, one of Petra’s most iconic landmarks with intricate carvings etched into its sandstone walls. Visit at night when it is illuminated by candlelight, and it’ll be an unforgettable experience for visitors, young and old alike! Another must-visit location is the Monastery, a massive temple-like structure at the top of a mountain that requires a challenging hike but rewards visitors with breathtaking views. 

For those interested in learning about ancient engineering techniques, head to the Great Temple Complex, where you can see remains of Roman-style columns and arches and examples of Nabatean water management systems from 2000 years ago. For an adventurous experience, hike through the Wadi Rum desert, where Bedouin campsites offer insight into traditional nomadic life. Lastly, don’t forget to visit Little Petra – a miniature version of Petra itself but less crowded! 

Search for tours in Petra here with Getyourguide!

Kyoto, Japan

People climb the stairs of a temple in Kyoto, Japan, one of the best international destinations for teens interested in history.

With its wealth of cultural and historical landmarks, Kyoto is one of the best international destinations for teens who love ancient history to explore. Stroll through the stunning Fushimi Inari Shrine and admire its thousands of vibrant orange torii gates or marvel at the beauty of Kinkaku-ji Temple’s gold-plated exterior.

Teens will love discovering traditional Japanese architecture while watching locals elegantly walk by in the Gion District! They can also dive deep into the country’s past by visiting museums like the Kyoto National Museum or strolling through historic neighborhoods such as Higashiyama District. For those fascinated by samurai legends and warfare tactics, a trip to Nijo Castle is guaranteed to impress with its imposing fortress walls, secret passages, ornate decorations, and authentic weaponry displays.

But don’t let all this rich history fool you – there’s plenty for thrill-seekers too! For an exciting twist on traditional sightseeing, head to Arashiyama Monkey Park Iwatayama, where you can see wild monkeys while admiring breathtaking views of the city below. Also, check out Toei Kyoto Studio Park, where you can experience Japanese cinema firsthand by taking part in interactive shows and rides based on popular samurai films.

Book this Kyoto: Top Highlights Full Day Trip with Getyourguide!

Mayan Culture in the Yucatán Peninsula

The ancient ruins of Chichén Itzá in Mexico.
Photo Courtesy: Herve Cariou

Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula provides a firsthand look into one of the most fascinating cultures of our past: the Mayans. With numerous exciting sites to explore, this region is hands down one of the best international destinations for teens who love ancient history.

Chichén Itzá, one of the most famous and well-preserved sites, offers visitors an up-close look at towering pyramids, ornate carvings, and intricate stone structures. The Temple of Kukulkan alone draws thousands of tourists each year with its unique design and historical significance. And don’t forget about Tulum, where white sandy beaches meet remnants of a fortified coastal town with highly skilled craftspeople creating elaborate jade jewelry that astounds museum-goers around the world. Families can also explore traditional villages where locals still speak their native language and practice customs passed down through generations.

Finally, the region is also known for its delicious cuisine, which features a blend of Mayan tradition and Spanish influence. Don’t miss out on trying local favorites like cochinita pibil or papadzules!

Book this Cancún/Playa del Carmen: Chichen Itzá, Cenote and Coba Tour through Getyourguide!


An aerial view of Machu Picchu in Peru, one of the best international destinations for teens interested in history.

Peru is rich in history and culture, with stunning landscapes and ancient ruins. Machu Picchu, the iconic Inca citadel high in the Andes Mountains, is a must-visit site for those interested in Peru’s history. This UNESCO World Heritage Site offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.

Another fascinating place to explore is Cusco, once the capital of the Inca Empire. The city still retains much of its colonial architecture, including churches such as Santo Domingo and La Compañía de Jesús that were built on top of Incan temples. For those interested in pre-Incan cultures, a visit to Chan Chan should not be missed. Located near Trujillo on Peru’s northern coast, this adobe city was built by the Chimu civilization around 850 AD. 

In Lima, visitors can explore Huaca Pucllana, an archaeological site dating back to 400 AD. Once an important ceremonial center for Lima’s pre-Columbian inhabitants, it features several well-preserved structures made from adobe bricks. Of course, no trip to Peru would be complete without trying traditional Peruvian cuisine like ceviche or lomo saltado

Plan your trip using this Exciting Peru Family Vacation Itinerary: 7-10 Days For Your Entire Family.

Best Places for Teens Who Love Medieval History

From the imposing castles of Austria to the charming cobblestone streets of Prague, these cities are steeped in rich and fascinating historical stories just waiting to be uncovered. And let’s not forget about Versailles, where you can witness firsthand what it was like to live as royalty in France during King Louis XIV’s reign! Keep reading to learn more!

Paris, France

Statues atop the Louvre Museum looking down onto a courtyard in Paris.

Paris is a city with abundant ancient and medieval sites, each offering a unique glimpse into France’s rich history and culture. Visit the Notre Dame Cathedral, which was completed in 1345 and remains one of the most iconic landmarks in the city. Your teens will marvel at its Gothic architecture and intricate stained-glass windows.

Another must-see site is Sainte-Chapelle, built between 1242 and 1248 by King Louis IX as a royal chapel. The chapel features stunning stained-glass windows that tell stories from both the Old and New Testaments. And finally, explore The Louvre Museum – home to some of the world’s most famous works of art, including Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa painting dating back to the early Renaissance period around (1500). 

If your teen loves art or literature, take them to Musée de Cluny, which houses one of the largest collections of medieval art in Europe, including tapestries dating back to the 15th century depicting unicorn stories – truly a magical experience! Finally, the Palace of Versailles also offers an excellent opportunity to delve into France’s royal history with its opulent decor and sprawling gardens.

Book your hop-on hop-off Paris Big Bus Tour here!

Other Places for History-Loving Teens to Visit in France

Attention all history buffs, France is the perfect destination for you! While Paris may be a top choice on your itinerary, don’t miss out on these other best international destinations for teens who love medieval history.

  • First on your list should be Carcassonne, a fortified town that served as a military stronghold during the Middle Ages. The walls of this fortress symbolize French engineering at its best and will captivate any teen interested in ancient architecture or defense mechanisms. 
  • Another must-visit location is Avignon, famous for its Palais de Papes (Popes’ Palace), where seven popes lived from 1309 until 1376 while fleeing Rome’s instability. It was also the capital of Christendom during the fourteenth century, which makes it one of Europe’s essential sites linked to church history. 
  • Mont Saint-Michel, a stunning island commune once a major pilgrimage site during the Middle Ages, is home to ​​an awe-inspiring island abbey that dates back to the 8th century. Located in a bay on the northwest coast of Normandy and surrounded by strong fortifications and towers, this island has attracted many tourists worldwide since ancient times. 
  • Finally, step back into medieval times in Provins and experience knights jousting on horseback action-packed shows or visit stunning cathedrals adorned with stained glass windows dating back hundreds of years! 

Istanbul, Turkey

Photo Courtesy: Gunjan Prakash

Istanbul, Turkey, is a wonderland of rich history and breathtaking architecture, making it one of the best places for teens who love medieval history. A melting pot of different architectural styles and influences, it was once the capital of the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires.

A must-see site here is the Hagia Sophia, built as an Eastern Orthodox cathedral in 537 AD before being converted into a mosque under Ottoman rule. Today, it’s a museum where teens can appreciate its intricate mosaics and stunning architecture. Another popular attraction is the Topkapi Palace Museum – home to some of the most significant relics from Ottoman times. From there, venture over to the Basilica Cistern, with its eerie underground tunnels filled with water columns and exquisite light displays. For those interested in learning more about Istanbul’s Islamic heritage, visit Sultanahmet Mosque (also known as the Blue Mosque). 

At Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar, vibrant culture comes alive through handmade artifacts and aromatic spices galore. Finally, wrap up your trip with a visit to Dolmabahçe Palace, a grandiose palace built during Ottoman rule that holds fascinating features such as its crystal chandeliers hanging elegantly within every room – purely jaw-dropping beauty! Finally, don’t miss seeing a Turkish Dance Show at Hodjapasha Cultural Centre.

READ NEXT: How To Have A Fun-Filled Family Vacation In Istanbul: 20+ Things To Do With Kids

​​Other Places for History-Loving Teens to Visit in Turkey

If your teenager is passionate about medieval history, then Turkey has plenty of other places to visit besides the stunning city of Istanbul. Dive into the past as you wander through ruins, revealing stories of empires long forgotten. Keep reading to learn more! 

  • The ancient city of Ephesus dates back to the 10th century BC and was once home to one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World – the Temple of Artemis. Imagine walking along marble streets lined with towering columns, past intricate mosaics and frescos, all while learning about how this city served as an important hub for trade, culture, and religion throughout the centuries. From Istanbul, make it a Day Trip to Ephesus with Flight and Lunch.
  • Another excellent destination is Konya, also known as Iconium during medieval times when it was ruled by Seljuk Turks. This fascinating city boasts one of Turkey’s most spectacular sites – the mausoleum complex dedicated to Rumi (also known as Mevlana), a 13th-century Sufi mystic and poet whose works have been translated into countless languages worldwide. Teens will love visiting the Mevlâna Museum and learning more about the whirling dervishes! 
  • Meanwhile, at the Hierapolis-Pamukkale site, you can marvel at natural hot springs as well as explore expansive Roman baths and other ancient structures dating back more than 2,000 years! However, it’s not just about taking a dip – Hierapolis was once a bustling Roman town known for its majestic public buildings such as theaters and temples. 

Plan your experience with teens using our Ultimate Multi-Day Turkey Itinerary For Families: Where To Go And What To Do.

London, England

A view of the London Bridge from the Bankside neighborhood of London, one of the best international destinations for teens interested in history.
Photo Courtesy: Visit London

London, England, is undoubtedly one of the best places for teens who love medieval history! From grand castles and ancient fortresses to old-world streets riddled with history, London boasts an abundance of fascinating attractions that capture the imagination of young minds.

The iconic Tower Bridge stands as a timeless symbol of British enlightenment and architectural ingenuity. Meanwhile, at the Tower of London, you can explore the centuries-old castle keep or marvel at priceless collections adorned with precious jewels and intricate tapestries. Teens will also fall in love with Westminster Abbey’s stunning Gothic architecture that has stood strong since 1066 AD! In addition to awe-inspiring historical landmarks are bustling markets filled with unique souvenirs and lively street performers, keeping London alive around every bend in the road.

Your teens can also check out the British Museum, which houses an impressive collection of ancient artifacts from all over the world. And last but not least would be Hampton Court Palace – a grand Tudor palace that once belonged to King Henry VIII himself! The gardens are breathtakingly beautiful, too, so don’t miss them! 

Use Getyourguide or Tripadvisor to book tours and things to do in London here!

Discover more of the best museums in London for teens by reading Best Museums In London For Kids (By Age).

​​Other Places for History-Loving Teens to Visit in England

While London may be the first stop for most tourists, there are other places in England that offer fascinating insights into the country’s medieval heritage. Here are some suggestions! 

  • One great option is Warwick Castle which transports visitors back in time with its interactive exhibits and live shows featuring knights jousting on horseback.
  • Teens may also appreciate York Minster, an iconic cathedral that has been standing since the Middle Ages. It houses some of England’s most notable architectural designs, such as Gothic windows and stone carvings crafted by skilled craftsmen from centuries ago.
  • Stonehenge, located in Wiltshire County, also provides a unique insight into prehistoric times. These rocks were moved from Wales around 2500 BC, which makes them older than even some pyramids!

Prague, Czechia

People cross the pedestrian bridge in Prague, one of the best international destinations for teens interested in history.

Have you ever dreamed of immersing yourself in a city straight out of a fairy tale? Well, look no further than Prague, Czechia! Filled to the brim with stunning Gothic, Baroque, and Renaissance architecture, this enchanting city boasts some of the best places for teens who have an insatiable appetite for all things medieval.

Start your journey at the stunning Prague Castle, which dates back to the 9th century and is home to numerous historical landmarks such as St. Vitus Cathedral and Golden Lane. As you explore the winding streets of Old Town Square, imagine what life was like during the Middle Ages while admiring beautifully preserved Gothic architecture like Tyn Church and Old Town Hall Tower with its astronomical clock dating from 1410.

If that’s not enough to satisfy your curiosity about alchemists and wizards (think Harry Potter), make sure to visit the Museum of Alchemy or stroll across Charles Bridge with its Baroque statues depicting religious scenes – it’s one of Prague’s most popular spots!

Book things to do and tours in Prague through Getyourguide or Tripadvisor here!

READ NEXT: Best Hacks & Products For Sleeping On Long International Flights With Kids 

South of Spain/Andalusia

The Alhambra in the South of Spain at dusk.
Photo Courtesy: Pablo Valerio

​​There is no shortage of options for history-loving teens when it comes to ancient and medieval sites in the south of Spain. One must-visit destination is undoubtedly Alhambra, a palace and fortress complex in Granada dating back to the 9th century. From its stunning gardens to intricate carvings and ornate architecture, this UNESCO World Heritage Site offers visitors a glimpse into centuries-old Islamic rule in Spain.

Another impressive is the Roman Theatre of Malaga, built during Emperor Augustus’ reign and later used as an entertainment venue by gladiators. Finally, visit Seville’s Cathedral-Giralda Tower complex with its towering bell tower that dominates the city skyline. Inside lies one of Europe’s largest Gothic cathedrals, complete with awe-inspiring stained glass windows and artwork from some of Spain’s most famous artists like Murillo or Zurbarán adorning its walls. 

Alternatively, for those interested in Roman ruins, Italica near Seville showcases some incredible mosaics and a well-preserved amphitheater where gladiatorial games were once held. Additionally, Cordoba’s Mezquita-Catedral stands out for its unique blend of Islamic and Christian architectural elements. Teens can marvel at its grand horseshoe arches, which date back to when it was once a mosque. Spanish conquerors converted it into a cathedral in 1236 AD.

​​Other Places for History-Loving Teens to Visit in Spain

Spain is an absolute treasure trove of adventure and discovery just waiting for you to explore it! Sure, there are mainstays like the Alhambra in Granada or the Aqueduct of Segovia – but what about other hidden gems? We’ve got some suggestions!

  • Toledo, also known as “The City of Three Cultures,” offers an authentic blend of historic Muslim, Jewish, and Christian architecture dating back to 4000 BC! Don’t miss well-preserved medieval architecture such as the Puerta de Bisagra Gate, Catedral Primada, and Sinagoga del Tránsito. 
  • From there, trek over to nearby Ávila and marvel at its massive walls that have been standing since 1090 AD.
  • For something truly unique, visit Teruel’s Torre del Salvador – an incredible 14th-century tower featuring intricate carvings and colorful tiles that will leave any history buff breathless.

RELATED: Exploring The Best Of Spain With Kids: Seasonal Hotspots You Don’t Want To Miss

Vienna, Austria

Castle Belvedere in Vienna, nestled along the water.
Photo Courtesy: Herbert Bieser

Vienna is the ultimate destination for teens passionate about medieval history! This European gem boasts several places to transport you to a time when knights in shining armor ruled the land, and castles were more than mere tourist attractions. In fact, St Stephen’s Cathedral is one of the most important landmarks in Vienna and features a unique mix of Late Gothic and Romanesque architecture that’s sure to impress any teen.

Then, its Old Town Square also features many well-preserved buildings from the Gothic era. Your teen can also indulge their passion for history by visiting the Hofburg Palace, once home to kings and queens, or Schönbrunn Palace, where they can soak up tales about Emperor Franz Joseph I, who lived there with his wife, Empress Elisabeth. 

Don’t miss out on taking them on a journey through time at the Kunsthistorisches Museum, showcasing ancient art collections worldwide, including Egyptian mummies! For a more hands-on experience, walk down memory lane at Time Travel Vienna for an interactive tour featuring historical events from over 2,000 years ago until now. 

Reserve your Things to do or Tours in Vienna here with Getyourguide or Tripadvisor!

Vienna is also one of the Top 8 Family-Friendly Destinations in Austria for an Unforgettable Vacation With Kids!

Other Places for History-Loving Teens to Visit in Austria

Look no further than Austria for some of the best places to indulge your teen’s passion for history! In addition to well-known destinations like Vienna and Salzburg, there are countless lesser-known gems that offer a glimpse into Austria’s rich past. Here are some suggestions! 

  • Teens will enjoy Salzburg, where you can find Hohensalzburg Fortress. Archbishop Gebhard built it during his reign, and it dates back to the 11th century. The fortress offers breathtaking views of Salzburg city, making it an ideal spot for taking photos with your teens. After, be sure to explore the historic city center of Salzburg to see more medieval architecture! 
  • Another must-visit site in Austria is Hallstatt Village, a UNESCO world heritage site. It’s one of Europe’s oldest settlements, with over 7000 years of human habitation. From exploring the Salt Mine Museum, which dates back to 3000 BC, to visiting the Gothic-style Catholic church, there’s so much for history buffs to explore! 
  • For those seeking even more adventure, Innsbruck offers breathtaking scenery as well as historical landmarks such as Ambras Castle and the picturesque Bergisel Ski Jump Tower – both sure to appeal to any aspiring knight or queen.

Dubrovnik, Croatia

Several people walk along the Old Town Wall of Dubrovnik, Croatia, one of the best international destinations for teens interested in history.
Photo Courtesy: Patricia Jekki

When it comes to the best places for teens who love medieval history, Dubrovnik, Croatia, should be at the top of your list! This stunning and historic town boasts an incredibly well-preserved Old Town that is full of ancient architecture, narrow alleys, and a rich history that spans centuries. These walls offer fascinating insights into the city’s history during times of war and invasion. From walking along these famous city walls to exploring forts like Lovrijenac Castle, where Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet was once performed, there is no shortage of fascinating sights for any young historian in training. Don’t forget to visit St. Salvation Church, which holds various ancient artifacts dating back thousands of years old! 

Additionally, there are several museums in Dubrovnik worth visiting, including The Rector’s Palace Museum, which showcases artifacts from ancient Greek and Roman times through to modern-day art installations showcasing local artists’ work. The Maritime Museum is a must-visit attraction as it showcases Dubrovnik’s strong maritime heritage, while the Ethnographic Museum sheds light on how people used to live in this ancient town centuries ago. All this combined makes Dubrovnik a must-visit destination for any teenager interested in history! 

Book your Tours and Things to do here with Getyourguide or Tripadvisor!

Other Places for History-Loving Teens to Visit in Croatia

While Dubrovnik may be the most famous spot in Croatia to grab your fill of historical landmarks, plenty of other places in this breathtaking country offer equally impressive sights. Keep reading to find out more best international destinations for teens obsessed with history! 

  • Trogir has existed since prehistoric times and has a rich cultural heritage, including stunning Gothic palaces such as Kamerlengo Castle, which dates back to 1420. Trogir also offers a glimpse into medieval Croatia with its charming old town center that boasts stunning Gothic and Renaissance buildings
  • Or maybe head over to Pula instead? This ancient city boasts one of the largest surviving Roman amphitheaters outside Italy! 
  • Another fascinating destination is Diocletian’s Palace in Split. Built for the Roman emperor Diocletian in AD 305, this UNESCO World Heritage Site features impressive architecture and intricate details that showcase Croatia’s unique blend of Mediterranean and European influences.

For more suggestions, check out our list of ​​13 Best Places To Visit In Croatia With Kids This Summer

Bruges, Belgium

Bruges, Belgium, is one of the best places for teens who love medieval history! This picturesque city may be small, but it packs a big punch when it comes to historical significance. With its winding cobblestone streets and stunning architecture preserved from centuries past, Bruges transports you back to the Middle Ages.

Teens can explore ancient churches like the Church of Our Lady, where they’ll find an awe-inspiring sculpture by Michelangelo. They can also visit fascinating museums such as the Memling Museum at St. John’s Hospital or learn about Belgian chocolate making at the Choco-Story Museum. Plus, vendors gather at Markt Square for an open-air market every Wednesday while musicians serenade passersby – a tradition dating back to the 10th century! 

Or, learn about Bruges’ connection with lace-making at Kantcentrum or take a boat ride through its picturesque canals to uncover more hidden gems. And let’s not forget about climbing up the iconic Belfry Tower, which offers breathtaking panoramic views of this charming, fairytale-like cityscape! 

Other Places for History-Loving Teens to Visit in Belgium

Belgium has so much more to offer than just the famous medieval city of Bruges! In fact, there are several other best international destinations for teens who love medieval history to explore this beautiful country. Here are some suggestions for the best international destinations for teens who love history! 

  • How about visiting Ghent, where you can discover one of the largest castles in Europe – Gravensteen Castle? Teens can climb its towers for stunning city views or tour its dungeons to learn more about medieval life. Imagine walking through the same rooms as knights and princesses did centuries ago! 
  • No trip to Belgium would be complete without visiting La Grand Place in Brussels – one of the best places for teens who love medieval history. This jaw-dropping square dates back to the 15th century and features awe-inspiring Gothic architecture that will leave any visitor speechless.
  • Another great destination is Namur, a small town with an impressive citadel that guards its streets from above. Take a stroll around it and feel like you’re part of ancient times! 
  • And if that’s not enough for your thirst for knowledge on all things medieval, head over to Tournai and marvel at its stunning UNESCO-listed Gothic cathedral – Cathedral Notre-Dame de Tournai.

Click here to discover 7 Fantastic Places To Visit In Belgium For Families!

Beijing, China

An aerial view of the Great Wall of China, one of the best international destinations for teens interested in history.
Photo Courtesy – Edith Arteaga

Beijing offers teens a rich tapestry of historical wonders that will leave them feeling awestruck! This unique city is bursting at the seams with incredible gems and is one of the international destinations for teens who love history! 

Your first stop should be the Forbidden City, once the imperial palace of China’s emperors during the Ming and Qing dynasties. This awe-inspiring site spans over 178 acres and contains 980 buildings, making it one of the largest palaces in the world. Get lost in its maze-like structures and imagine yourself walking alongside Chinese emperors from centuries ago! Another must-visit spot is Tiananmen Square, where visitors can see Mao Zedong’s portrait hanging above the entrance to the Forbidden City. Beihai Park – a vast garden surrounding a stunning lake – also offers an insight into Chinese gardens’ design through different periods. 

Then, The Great Wall of China is one of the most iconic structures in human history. It spans over 13,000 miles across Northern China. This world wonder has stood for centuries and offers breathtaking views while giving visitors an insight into ancient defensive systems. Families can also visit The Temple of Heaven and the Summer Palace, or Yiheyuan. No wonder this is one of the best international destinations for teens interested in history!

Reserve your tours and things to do in Beijing here with Getyourguide or Tripadvisor!

Other Places for History-Loving Teens to Visit in China

Sure, everyone knows about the Great Wall and the Forbidden City in Beijing, but don’t stop there! There are plenty of other amazing places to visit in China that will transport you back in time. Stay tuned to learn more about the best international destinations for teens obsessed with history! 

  • In the Shanxi Province, families can visit the city of Datong. Here, you can explore what remains of the Yungang Grottoes and witness firsthand Buddhist art from over 1,500 years ago at the Hanging Monastery. 
  • For those interested in military history, head over to Xi’an City, where you can marvel at the Terracotta Warriors built by Emperor Qin Shi Huang during his reign from 259 BC – 210 BC. The Warriors are a part of his tomb and are one of China’s greatest architectural treasures.
  • At the Longmen Grottoes located in Luoyang City, teens can witness over 100,000 Buddhist statues that date back to the Northern Wei Dynasty (386-534 AD) and Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD).

Happy Travels and Learning about History with your Teens!

A family of four, atop their own bikes, poses along a stretch of road on the Appian Way.
Photo Courtesy: Gunjan Prakash

We hope you liked this article on Beyond Textbooks: Best International Destinations for Teens Obsessed With History! Whether it’s exploring the ruins of Machu Picchu or walking down the streets of Athens where great philosophers once dwelled, these international destinations offer much more than just reading about history from textbooks. Enjoy your next history-filled vacation! 

*This post may contain affiliate links that may earn us a small commission, at no additional cost to you. Affiliate links in no way inform the hotels, sights, products, or other recommendations included in our articles. All opinions and recommendations expressed here are compiled from submissions submitted by the generous members of our Families Who Love To Travel community.


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The Families Love Travel Team has a zest for life and an even bigger passion for globetrotting! Comprised of real-life travel professionals, we work hard behind the scenes to provide dynamic solutions for adventuring with children. Our enthusiastic team understands the challenges that often accompany traveling with kids and is committed to making Families Love Travel an inclusive space to convey these experiences.