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5 must-visit WWII locations

From beaches to battlefields!

I love to read, and one of my favorite genres is historical fiction. I love to immerse myself in the world of characters from different times and places. World War II historical fiction is one of my favorites; I’m so inspired by stories of people who faced such incredible challenges during this time in our world’s history.

Did you know that the 80th anniversary of D-Day coming up on June 6? Just a week away! It's the perfect time to reflect and maybe even plan a little journey to some incredible places that played significant roles during World War II. I've picked out a mix of destinations that offer a deep dive into history and some amazing experiences. Ready to explore? Let's go!

1. London, England 🏰

London is a treasure trove of history, and WWII stories are woven into its tapestry. Winston Churchill is one of the most well-known and beloved leaders during WWII, and you may want to visit his War Rooms during your visit.

What to do:

  • Churchill War Rooms: The Churchill War Rooms were the underground bunker where Winston Churchill and his government directed Britain’s war effort during the Blitz.

  • Bletchley Park: Located just outside of London, Bletchley Park was home to the codebreakers who decrypted Nazi communications, significantly impacting the war's outcome.

  • Imperial War Museum London: Visit the WWII galleries, with its collection of military vehicles, weapons, personal items, and poignant stories from the war. And the Holocaust Exhibition is a must-visit, which presents the harsh realities of the Holocaust through personal stories, photographs, and artifacts.

2. Munich, Germany 🇩🇪

Munich might be famous for Oktoberfest nowadays, but it also has a past that’s crucial to understanding WWII. Adolf Hitler was one of the most hated and reviled leaders during WWII. Visiting Munich, you can more fully understand how the Nazi political party came to power.

What to do:

  • Third Reich Walking Tour: Munich was the birthplace of the Nazi Party. A walking tour provides a comprehensive look at the city’s dark ties with the Nazi party.

  • Eagle’s Nest Tour: Check out Hitler’s former tea house with a guided tour for deep historical insight.

  • Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site: Dachau was the first Nazi concentration camp, serving as a model for all others that followed. It is now a memorial and educational site.


3. Kraków and Warsaw, Poland 🇵🇱

Poland’s history is a poignant blend of Jewish heritage and the harrowing events of WWII. This country was one of the most significant centers of Jewish life and culture in Europe, and also home to Nazi concentration camps.

What to do:

  • Jewish Heritage Tour: Take a full- or half-day guided tour to immerse yourself in Poland’s rich Jewish history.  Today, the Jewish Quarter in Krakow  offers a glimpse into pre-war Jewish heritage and the effects of the Holocaust.

  • Auschwitz-Birkenau: Auschwitz-Birkenau is perhaps the most well-known concentration camp, where over 1.1 million people, mostly Jews, perished during the Holocaust.

  • Schlinder’s Factory Museum: This factory, owned by Oskar Schindler, is where he saved the lives of over 1,200 Jews by employing them during WWII.

4. Amsterdam, Netherlands 🌷

Along with its picturesque canals, Amsterdam is rich with history and holds powerful stories of resistance and resilience from the war.

What to do:

  • Anne Frank Walking Tour: Begin in the Jewish Quarter and follow the path Anne Frank took before she went into hiding. Get insights into her life, the impactful history of the area, and how it was affected during the war.

  • Anne Frank House: It's super popular, so let’s book this in advance to avoid those long queues.

  • Dutch Resistance Museum: This museum is dedicated to the Dutch resistance during Nazi occupation. It’s a great place to learn about the personal stories of bravery and sacrifice, which provide a deeper understanding of the resistance movement.

5. Normandy, France 🇫🇷

Normandy is like a living history book. You can almost hear the echoes of bravery from the D-Day landings as you stroll along the beaches.

What to do:

  • D-Day Landing Tours: Explore Omaha Beach and the other legendary beaches, and learn about the pivotal moments of June 6, 1944. The beaches of Normandy were the primary landing sites for Allied forces during the D-Day invasion.

  • Visit the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial: A moving tribute to the brave soldiers who fought here. Overlooking Omaha Beach, this cemetery is the final resting place for nearly 10,000 American soldiers who fought in WWII.

  • Memorial de Caen Museum: Considered one of the best WWII museums in Europe, the interactive exhibits provide a comprehensive overview of the war and the Battle for Caen.


Feeling inspired? These destinations provide not only education, but also a poignant opportunity to remember the sacrifices made, and how brave and dedicated the people were who lived during WWII.

DON’T FORGET! If you’re interested in the Normandy Beaches, we’re going there in just a few short months, and you’re invited to join us! It’s a French river cruise along the Seine River, October 2024. Let me know if you’d like more information.

I’d be happy to help you plan an unforgettable trip, whether you’re a history buff, historical fiction lover, or just want to visit some great places. E-mail or give me a call, and let’s start connecting your desires with an incredible vacation.



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