Five Holiday Destinations That Used to Be in a Battlezone

Five Holiday Destinations That Used to Be in a Battlezone

Europe has many interesting and historic cities to visit for a holiday or short break – yet many of those very same cities were once the sites of epic battles and terrible tragedy. Indeed, many of the very same places that people rush to book last minute hotels in are the same ones that people were just as eager to get away from during times of war. Time does heal all wounds, as the saying goes, and many of these holiday destinations are proof of that. Below, we highlight five places that have ironically gone from war zones to play zones.


Air raids that occurred between 1943 and 1945 during the Second World War destroyed large parts of Berlin. The Battle of Berlin added to the destruction, leaving much of the city in smoldering ruins. Today you can see the evidence of those famous air raids for yourself by stopping by the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, which was heavily damaged in 1943 and bears witness to the destructive forces of war.


The Battle of Normandy was one of the major turning points of the Second World War. The eyes of the world turned to this part of France as Allied Forces conducted the famous D-day landings there. The events of the Battle of Normandy have been memorialised in many popular works, including in the opening scenes of Steven Spielberg’s gripping Saving Private Ryan. Today, Normandy is well loved by tourists for its scenic white cliffs and its wide, sandy beaches, whose serenity belie the horrors that happened here.


The invading Germans completely razed Warsaw, Poland during the Second World War. It’s incredible to think that so many shops, restaurants and hotels have sprung back up in the relatively short period of time since then. Indeed, Warsaw has recovered admirably and is becoming a more and more popular holiday destination – especially for those seeking short breaks. Despite the near total destruction of Warsaw, it’s possible to take in many historic sights at museums here while staying at a last minute hotel within the city limits; indeed, history seems to surround you when you’re here.


The tiny archipelago of Malta played a pivotal role during the Second World War. Between 1940 and 1942, The Siege of Malta brought the forces of Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy head to head, wreaking incredible havoc on the small, unassuming – and densely populated – country. The Maltese people were credited with displaying incredible steadfastness and heroism during the debacle, and today this peaceful and incredibly gorgeous group of islands draws in tourists from around the world, largely thanks to the proliferation of many great lastminute hotel deals.


As recently as 1991, Dubrovnik, Croatia was at the epicenter of a major battle as Serbian-Montenegrin forces attacked. Despite how little time has passed since then, Dubrovnik has already rebounded and has transformed itself into one of the most popular – and well appointed – Mediterranean resort towns. Where incredible chaos once ensued, today people sun themselves on beaches, take in the culture and relax in the soothing atmosphere of a truly transformed city.