History & culture

Without history and culture, travel is just a bunch of pretty pictures. We'll help you to find the stories behind the sights.

Time travel isn't a reality, yet, but you can journey to the past anytime you like by visiting historical cities and destinations that are steeped in ancient stories. Stonehenge in the UK can zoom you back 3,000 years. The Colosseum and the Forum in Rome, the oldest city in Italy, will materialise the short-but-exciting lives of gladiators. The Cu Chi tunnels near Ho Chi Minh City demonstrate the tenacity and intelligence of VC fighters during 'the American War'. And in urban jungles like Shanghai and Hanoi, two of the best historical cities in Asia, exploring the 'old city' areas is a way to discover dynasty after dynasty of times gone by.

The best cultural holidays are often linked to history, but they can also be about modern life. Some cities are positively dripping in cultural experiences, like Houston for example. Look beyond the TexMex cuisine and you'll find a world-class ballet company and more than 60 art galleries, including the Menil Collection. San Francisco is another cultural city known for contemporary art expression. The past is there too, with Alcatraz, Fort Point and the beautiful Mission Dolores ready to give you a history tour. And for sheer culture-shock value, take yourself to Tokyo. It's fashion-forward, technology-mad and possibly as close as you'll ever get to visiting another planet.