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cemetery church gravestone tombstone ireland celtic crossEvery Wednesday, we’ll feature one practical travel tip here, on our blog. Get our clever weekly tips and other travel resources in your inbox by subscribing to our blog (top right) or signing up for our newsletter.

Museums and monuments? Check. Beaches and boutique shops? Wouldn’t miss ‘em. But there’s one unique type of sight you might be skipping in your travels.

In 35 Travel Tips Revealed: Top Secrets of Travel Writers, Stephanie Yoder writes, “It sounds morbid, but one of the most interesting (and usually free) ways to learn about a city is to explore its cemeteries. These spaces are often beautiful and can offer insights into the history, architecture, art and religious beliefs of a city. Major cemeteries are usually full of elaborate monuments, interesting folklore and even celebrities (their headstones at least). Despite being such treasure troves, cemeteries are rarely crowded and make a nice escape from the urban jungle.”

There are certain cities where cemeteries and gravesites are practically a must-visit, such as Recoleta in Buenos Aires (where Eva Peron is buried) and Arlington National Cemetery outside of Washington D.C. And in Boston, the Freedom Trail winds past several cemeteries, including the Granary Burying Ground — the final resting place of Paul Revere, John Hancock and Samuel Adams.

But the world’s lesser-known cemeteries are worth a wander as well. I still remember the wistful atmosphere of one quiet churchyard in rural Ireland, surrounded by nothing but rolling green hills. As I traced the names and dates on its crumbling tombstones, it was nearly impossible not to feel the weight of history.

– written by Sarah Schlichter

One Response to “Travel Tip of the Week: Buried Treasures”

  1. Matt Leonard says:

    That’s a good point. New Orleans has some pretty cool cemeteries as well. I believe everyone is above ground due to it being below sea level, but I’m not sure about that. Either way, the cemetery tours are particularly informative and interesting.

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