During our travels we also like to explore the darker side of tourism, called dark tourism. Dark tourism can be defined as a tourist who is curious and intrigued to explore locations of abandonment, natural disasters or places of violence. Two top dark tourism locations you can class within this are Auschwitz in Poland and Chernobyl in Ukraine.
As well as natural disasters or places of violence, Dark Tourism subcategories can also be focused on nuclear, communism, holocaust, prison/persecution and genocide. We highly recommend that you should visit Dark Tourism website that has all extra information you need, written by author and worldwide explorer Peter Hohenhaus. This is our go to site for exploring new places! He has a much better explanation of than us, with over 108 countries and 800 individual locations full of information, data and photos of dark tourism locations. If you need to know more or want to look for locations in your area, please take a look here.
This type of tourism includes scenes of natural disaster, violence, and displacement out of intriguing curiosity.
Below are a list of countries and locations we have visited that can be classed as dark tourism. This is an ongoing post where we will be adding locations as we visit.
Dark Tourism IN EUROPE
- Ypres – A full weekend itinerary of all front line museums, memorials and original trenches that you should visit about the history of World War One.
- Doel – An abandoned ghost village close to Antwerp and a nuclear power plant.
- KGB Museum – An interesting museum to view artefacts and hear stories about the KGB.
- Normandy – See our 4 days itinerary worth of D-Day WW2 Invasion Museums and Memorials that we visited.
- Albert – Along the front lines of WW1 with the Battle of Somme.
- Verdun – A significant location of the WW1 front lines.
- Remembering The fallen Of WW1 – A personal story of my great great Granddads second cousin.
- Berlin – Memorials/Museums Holocaust (COMING SOON!)
- Dachau – One of the concentration camps created by the Germanys during WW2.
- Vogelsang – A Former Nazi Military Training Camp
- Museum Rotterdam 40-45NU – An in depth museum showing true stories of WW2 in Rotterdam, describing how the city was bombed and hundreds of items on show.
- Anne Frank Museum in Amsterdam – One of the worlds most famous dark tourism destinations, this is where the diary took place and can be visited still today. (COMING SOON)
- Chernobyl – After the nuclear disaster, here lies an abandoned contaminated city that is one of the most dark tourism locations that people are visiting.
- The Needles Military Batteries on the Isle of Wight (COMING SOON!)
Dark Tourism IN AMERICA
- WW2 Bunker – This bunker was one of many along the west coast of California.
- Sutro Baths – Once a famous outdoor bath, now what lies are the ruins.
- Alcatraz – A prison off the coast of San Francisco, where it’s still unknown if any inmates managed to escaped!
- Meteor Crater – A protected meteorite impact crater within Arizona that struck the earth.
- Area 51 – A military / suspected Alien base situated in Rachel, Nevada.
We always keep a look out on our travels of dark tourism locations that we can visit. These places truly fascinate us with the history. Some locations are truly abandoned whereas others have been turned into a museum. We have lots of places on our list to visit within Europe and the US. But expanding our list in other locations too!
I believe people and younger travellers should invest time visiting these locations too, especially locations in remembrance of those from the wars or historical sites. To learn and educate what generations before us have gone through and how to appreciate what we have now in present times.
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Have you travelled to any Dark Tourism spots? Do you have a recommendation for us? Share with us in the comments!