From astounding authors to fearless freedom fighters, women from all over the globe have been changing the course of history for centuries. Lucky for us, we can learn about the lives of many historic women, see their birthplaces, celebrate their accomplishments, and find plenty of inspiration through travel.
Join a tour to walk in the footsteps of feminist icons, learning from their struggles as well as their victories. See how amazing women like Joan of Arc in France, Frida Kahlo in Mexico, and Harriet Tubman in the USA made lasting marks on history.
1. Jane Austen Tour from London
Jane Austen didn’t use her name to publish her novels–the covers simply read “By a Lady.” But nearly 200 years after her death, her name and her stories are still being taught and adapted across the globe. With just 6 published novels, she established the modern and Victorian romantic comedy with her witty dialogue and groundbreaking narrative style.
This comprehensive Austen tour from London visits Jane’s birthplace, her gravesite, and the cottage where she wrote Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility. See not only Jane’s birthplace but that of Elizabeth Bennet, Mr. Darcy, and Emma Woodhouse on this ultimate tour for the bookworm.
2. Anne Frank Tour in Amsterdam
Anne Frank received a journal as a 13th birthday gift from her father, Otto. Little did either of them know she would record her experiences as a Jew in hiding in Amsterdam during the Holocaust to eventually be read by millions.
Take an Anne Frank tour through the Jewish Quarter of Amsterdam where many families like the Franks were forced to hide. It ends outside the home where the Frank and Van Pel families hid for nearly 2 years during World War II.
Or take part in this walking tour, which gives a glimpse into Anne’s life before the war, including visits to her elementary school and the shop where Anne chose the small book where she would record one of the darkest moments in history.
3. Frida Kahlo Museums in Mexico City
Frida Kahlo’s life was one riddled with disease and despair. As a child she survived a horrible bus accident as well as a bout of polio. A tumultuous marriage with fellow artist Diego Rivera and even more health struggles defined her adult life.
Despite—or perhaps because of—her suffering, Kahlo became one of the most recognized and prolific Central American artists in history. Her oil paintings explore themes of Mexican heritage, mental illness, gender, and sexuality.
This Frida Kahlo tour in Mexico City takes you to the “Blue House,” where Frida grew up and died, as well as Anahuacalli Museum, built on land that Frida and Diego Rivera bought together. The tour ends at the Dolores Olmedo Museum, which houses the largest collection of Kahlo’s work in the world.
4. Princess Diana’s Home in London
Diana, Princess of Wales was one of the most influential and disruptive figures to enter the British royal family in history. From shaking hands with AIDS patients to visiting dangerous minefields in Angola, she advocated for countless charities while simultaneously bringing an unprecedented glamour and approachability to the royal family.
Visit Kensington Palace, Princess Diana’s home, to walk in her footsteps as she navigated her marriage, motherhood, and divorce from Prince Charles. Be sure to check out the fashion display dedicated to the Princess Diana’s most iconic red carpet looks. Plus, learn the history of one of Diana’s predecessors, Queen Victoria, who also called this palace home.
5. Harriet Tubman Tour in New York City
Harriet Tubman is one of the most famous historic women linked to the Underground Railroad, a system which helped free thousands of African American slaves in the early to mid 1800s. Shortly after escaping slavery herself, Tubman joined the railroad and helped lead more than 300 people to freedom.
This Underground Railroad Walking Tour in New York focuses not only on Tubman’s efforts, but on the lives and contributions of countless railroad “conductors” and the brave escaped slaves who sought refuge through the system.
6. Joan of Arc Tour from Paris
Born the daughter of a sharecropper in Northern France, little more than marriage and children would have been expected of Joan of Arc. But at 13 years old she received a divine message that she must save France in the midst of the bloody Hundred Years War. A vow of chastity and a famous victory over the English at Orléans soon followed. Despite England’s retreat, Joan would go on to be captured and burned at the stake in the town square of Rouen at only 19.
This 2-hour Joan of Arc walking tour of Rouen chronicles the last days of the young French soldier’s life. Visit the dungeon where Joan was held and tortured for nearly a year, as well as the marketplace where she would be killed in front of the Rouen townspeople.
7. Empress Maria Theresa in Vienna
Maria Theresa (mother of Marie Antoinette) was the only female ruler of the Habsburg Empire. Her ascension to the throne was a topic of fierce debate, but she prevailed, ruling the Empire for 40 years. She strengthened her empire’s center of Austria, both in military and economy, and also funded early public health studies on infant mortality.
Discover Schönbrunn Palace, the summer residence of the formidable empress. Learn more about her military victories as you walk along the gilded halls of this grandiose home. Plus, visit Maria Theresa’s personal study.
8. Nasty Women of the Metropolitan Museum Tour
If you find yourself spending a weekend in New York, be sure to check out this Nasty Women tour of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. See this famous museum through new feminist eyes as you explore the paintings of female pharaohs, Greek goddesses, and decked-out Medieval queens. Find some inspiration from these often-overlooked historic women.
Who are your favorite historic women?