One with an avid interest in history will never have a shortage of phenomenal destinations to discover. Some adventurers, however, wish to get a taste of the past as well as the urban cities that accommodate them. For those looking to immerse themselves in both current and historical culture, here are some amazing urban destinations to fill the historian within you with joy.
Hampstead (London, England)
Commonly known as Hampstead Village, many constructs of the area built in the 18th and 19th century stands tall to this very day. A famously preserved structure is the Isolon building opened in 1934 to serve as an experiment in moderate urban living. Ownership bounced around until it was abandoned in the ’90s. In 2003, the building was refurbished, and the former garage serves as a public gallery that proudly displays the building’s history.
The ancient parkland known as Hampstead Heath is another sight to take in. It stretches over 700 acres of ancient and recent woodlands, captivating ponds, playgrounds, and training tracks. The rambling, hilly park has been a notorious spot for Londoners and tourists for decades. While you’re at it, be sure to get around by taking a ride on the London Underground ("The Tube"), the world’s first underground railway system that began operating in the 1800s.
Hong Kong, China
One of the world’s most densely populated regions, Hong Kong boasts a population of over 7 million, and holds a variety of nationalities with rich cultures. A popular tourist destination is Lantau Island, the largest island in Hong Kong. To get a taste of history, visit the fishing town of Tai O which is over 3 centuries old. It is well known for its stilt houses, many of which still stand in spite of fire damage in the year 2000. A hot activity for tourists is the boat rides along the river and sea where people can watch the sunset and get a view of the Chinese white dolphins.
Another place to visit to peak your historic interest is the Tung Chung Fort built during the Shun Hei era built in the 1100s. In 1979, it was declared a monument and was restored and refurbished in ’88. As it stands today, many of the original constructions are still intact such as six of the old muzzle-loading cannons.
New Orleans, Louisiana (United States)
Founded in the early 1700s, New Orleans stands as the largest city in the state of Louisiana. Culture, both historical and present, can be found everywhere in the colorful and spirited city. A stay in memorable hotels such as the Pontchartrain Hotel opened in 1927 can awaken your historic side. Also, take a stroll through the French Quarter, the oldest neighborhood in the city, and check out many of the historic restaurants like Antoine’s, established around 1840. It is known to be one of the oldest family-run restaurants across the country.
Lastly, many are entranced with the city’s historic cemeteries and tombs like the famous Saint Louis Cemetery opened in 1789. The place is known to resemble one of the largest cemeteries in Paris, the Père Lachaise Cemetery.
Perhaps one of the more obvious destinations, Paris is widely accredited with being filled with endless activities. Visitors and citizens alike experience urban city living and a plethora of historical highlights. There is the global recognized Eiffel Tower constructed in 1889, which stands as not just the tallest structure in Paris, but the most paid-to-see monument to be visited in the world. Another go-to spot is the Louvre Museum, a landmark and historical monument built in the late 12th century originally to be a fortress. It’s the world’s most visited museum, and houses thousands of objects and displays all the way from prehistory to current days.
Athens stands as the capital and largest city of Greece, as well as one of the world’s oldest cities. As such, it is brewing with activity and tourism, and it is a very simple task to find classic heritage. Take a venture to the Acropolis, an ancient citadel that houses numerous historic buildings. One of the more infamous monuments is the Parthenon, a previous temple that began construction in 447 BC in dedication to the goddess Athena. Another temple, the Temple of Athena Nike, saw its construction around 420 BC, and like the Parthenon, was meant to worship the goddess of war and wisdom. In order for this historically significant region to maintain the structure of the buildings, The Acropolis Restoration Project began in 1975, and serves to continually restore them.
Across the world, travelers can find dozens upon dozens of remarkable locations and places to explore. It is never too late to jump on the chance to discover the years of old as the importance of historic preservation has never been higher. These five locations merely scratch the surface of urban areas with historic twists within capable of enticing just about anyone.