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.

  • Savour exciting Hong Kong's varied and contrasting delights, from natural splendour to vivacious nightlife. 
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  • Many would say that Melbourne is Australia’s number one city for history and culture, so be prepared to be amazed. 
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  • One of the most historical cities in the world, London never fails to satisfy. Eye-popping antiquity is everywhere you look.  
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  • For cultural holidays in the Pacific, New Caledonia stands out. As well as the indigenous Kanak culture, it has serious French connections. 
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  • Let a love of space history lure you to Houston, where the Space Center will reveal NASA’s fascinating past and present.  
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  • Explore Singapore’s rich history by wandering the streets of Little India, Chinatown, Tanjong Pagar and Kampong Glam. 
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  • From the World Heritage-listed Opera House to the International Cricket Hall of Fame, Sydney does culture its own way. 
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  • From Ho Chi Minh City you can link up with Vietnam culture tours that combine war sites, French colonial history and ancient villages. 
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  • Longing for a luau? Or would you rather tour Pearl Harbour? Hawaii offers some exceptional cultural tours that highlight its unique heritage.  
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  • This merchant city is close to several UNESCO World Heritage sites, including temples, palaces and sacred sites in the mountains. 
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  • From the 1849 gold rush days through to the hippy happenings of the 1960s, San Francisco has always been an exciting place to be.  
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  • If you love booking cultural holidays around the world, make sure you include Tokyo in your next itinerary. 
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