10 Podcasts for History Buffs Who Love to Travel
When it comes to podcasts, most of us have at least a handful of them that we binge on. No matter where your interests lie, there is a podcast just for you. They are great to listen to when travelling, commuting to work, cleaning, or taking a stroll outside. With so many topics at your fingertips, choosing a new one can be challenging. I listen to many podcasts about different topics, so I understand that dilemma. In this post, I’m sharing my list of podcasts for history buffs, architecture enthusiasts and art lovers to binge on.
As I tend to frequent archeological sites, museums and UNESCO World Heritage Sites, I am very interested in ancient history. I love learning about life in the past, from simple things like how people went to the bathroom to how they built ancient monuments. Historical scandals, legends and lores are definitely my jam. Thankfully, there are many fascinating podcasts from highly knowledgeable experts out there that keep me hooked.
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Culture and history podcasts for history buffs
From ancient cultures to political scandals, murders and quests for power to evolving social norms and ordinary lives, here are my fave podcasts for history buffs that will make you gasp, raise a brow and sometimes laugh.
As the name suggests, The Ancients is a podcast for all fans of ancient history. The show covers all the basics, from the politics and warfare of ancient civilizations to art, culture and everyday life. Want to learn more about notorious figures, legends and iconic monuments? This is the one to listen to.
The show is hosted by author and historian Tristan Hughes, who is everything but boring. Each episode features interviews with experts and scholars in different fields of ancient history who share their insights and perspectives on various topics.
This is one of my go-to history podcasts, as it covers so many fascinating subjects. From the people and places of ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome to the Vikings, Celts, Etruscans and Minoas, there is an endless list of topics to discover.
Betwixt the Sheets: The History of Sex, Scandal & Society
If you think history is boring, you’ve never heard of Betwixt the Sheets. I can’t remember how I came across this podcast, but once I found it, I was hooked. As the title suggests, it’s a podcast about everything from sex, scandal and society throughout history.
Have you ever wondered about the rituals of royal wedding nights, how porn has evolved over time or what medieval cures were used to treat impotence? Historian Kate Lister covers all these and other fascinating topics (that were definitely skipped in my history classes) as she interviews other fascinating guests.
The show covers everything from political scandals, the etymology of swear words and gender bias in medicine to erotic fiction, satanic cults and landmark LGBTQ+ court cases. This podcast is packed with historical tidbits that you haven’t even thought about.
If you’re fascinated by the Middle Ages (like my university TA was), you’ll love Gone Medieval. Hosted by archaeologist Cat Jarman and historian Matt Lewis, this podcast is your window to medieval times. Lively discussions with renowned guests and topics that go beyond the usual make this podcast one of my faves.
With each episode, you’ll learn about long-lost Viking ships, medieval medicine, murder, power politics, unexpected royal burials and the many myths and legends of the days gone by. Every episode is a chance to learn something new, from famous historical figures to the ordinary lives of people who lived in that time.
Not Just the Tudors
The Tudors were an interesting bunch, and if you’re into that period of history, then Not Just the Tudors is the pod for you. As the name suggests, it covers a wide range of topics and historical figures that are Tudor-adjacent and those that aren’t. Learn about the children in Tudor England, Europe’s most murderous dynasty, swords, shipwrecks and demonic possession, to name a few.
Hosted by Professor Suzannah Lipscomb, each episode features historians and experts discussing everything from the Aztecs to witches, Velázquez to Shakespeare, Mughal India to the Mayflower. If you’re up for learning about incredible stories and broadening your horizons, this one should definitely be on your list.
If British history podcasts are your thing and you love everything Tudor, then Talking Tudors is a must-have on your list. Hosted and produced by Natalie Grueninger, each episode focuses on different subjects during the Tudor years as well as the Tudors themselves.
Each week Natalie chats with celebrated authors, historians and other experts in the era about different issues and personalities from this fascinating period of history. I especially enjoy learning about the different stories of all the women and female-related matters featured in the episodes.
Travels Through Time
If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to travel back in time, you’re not alone. In Travels Through Time, the hosts Peter Moore, Violet Moller and Artemis Irvine ask their guests the same question – If you could travel back through time, which year would you visit and why?
I must say that as a concept, this is definitely a good one. After all, we all have different times in history that we would like to visit. From the Tower of London (1483), Pompeii (79 A.D.) and Colonial America (1776) to Jerusalem (1187), the Moon (1969) and 10 Downing Street (1940), the choices are as eclectic as the guests. Hearing when and why others would choose to go is like a fascinating game of chance.
History Tea Time
I’m a huge fan of Lindsay Holiday’s YouTube channel, so I was delighted to discover that she also has a podcast. History Tea Time is full of stories about different queens of the world, royalty and women’s history. This pod has everything from royal love stories, scandals and assassinations to the history of names, holiday traditions and serial killers.
History is often told, focusing on male historical figures and their stories. It’s nice to hear stories of women amplified through podcasts like this one. So if you’re curious about African queens who stood up to Portuguese invaders, concubines in the sultanate harem that wielded tremendous power and the LGBTQ royals of the word, this pod is for you.
As the name suggests, Queens Podcasts is all about telling history from the female perspective. Hosted by Katy Hearne-Church and Nathan Foster, this podcast is not just informative but also fun. Sometimes, you just need some lighthearted and boozy take on history to make it fun. If you’ve ever been put off by boring and condescending history teachers, you’ll love this take on learning and actually enjoy it.
How and why history
For a closer look at the significant events and personalities from the ancient world to recent times, look no further than How and Why History. In each episode, historians and writers look at the actions and decisions that have influenced the world we live in today.
From biblical characters, the United Nations and the Great Fire of London to Joan of Arc, Genghis Khan and philosophers of Ancient Greece. If you’re looking for an eclectic mix of historical topics, then this podcast is definitely one to subscribe to.
Myths and legends
I couldn’t create a list of podcasts for history buffs without including Myths and Legends. Hosted by Carissa Weiser and Jason Weiser, this pod looks at the stories of myths, legends and folklore that have shaped different cultures throughout history. Some might be familiar, and others might be new, but you’ll definitely learn something fun and exciting.
This podcast has “stories of wizards, knights, Vikings, dragons, princesses, and kings from the time when the world beyond the map was a dangerous and wonderful place.” How can you not like that?
Final thoughts on podcasts for history buffs
Now, you might sit here and wonder what these history podcasts have to do with travel. I, for one, love visiting places that I’ve learned about. Hearing stories of love, heartbreak, betrayal, war and murder always adds a bit of spice to any old castle, monument or pile of rocks you might be visiting. In a way, I think that having a passion for learning about history and culture is a great precursor to packing your suitcases and seeing the world. Hence, history podcasts for history buffs who like to travel.
There are so many different types of history podcasts out there, making it so easy to learn about the different aspects of the past. No matter what period, destination or angle you’re looking for, you’ll find one. I also love discovering new pods and learning about people and places I’ve never heard of or want to learn more about. So, if you love to travel and learn about the past, I hope this list has given you some great new additions to your podcasts list.
Looking for other ways to get inspired? You can also check out my posts on movies, books and fictional destinations that will surely spark your wanderlust. Now all you have to do is go somewhere!