Great Cities Through Travelers' Eyes

Peter Furtado

A wide-ranging anthology of travelers’ accounts in thirty-eight of the world’s most fascinating cities, from ancient times through the twentieth century.

This entertaining new anthology includes travelers’ tales from thirty-eight cities spread over six continents, ranging from Beijing to Berlin, Cairo to Chicago, and Rio to Rome.

The volume features commentators across the millennia, including the great travelers of ancient times, such as Greek geographer Strabo; those who undertook extensive journeys in the medieval world, not least Marco Polo; courageous women such as Isabella Bird and Freya Stark; and enterprising writers and journalists, including Mark Twain. We see the work of famous travelers, but also stories by ordinary people who found themselves involved in remarkable situations, like the medieval Chinese abbot who was shown around the Sainte-Chapelle in Paris by the king of France.

Some of the writers seek to provide a straightforward, accurate description of all they have seen, while others concentrate on their subjective experiences of the city and encounters with the inhabitants. Introduced and contextualized by bestselling historian Peter Furtado, each account provides both a vivid portrait of a distant place and time and an insight into those who journeyed there. The result is a book that delves into the splendors and stories that exist beyond conventional guidebooks and websites.


Dives deeper into a single place than your typical guidebook, giving insight into the look and feel of different places during various times throughout history.

— Smithsonian Magazine


Peter Furtado

Edited By

Peter Furtado is the editor of Histories of Nations, History Day by Day, and Great Cities Through Travelers' Eyes. He is the former editor of History Today, the world's leading history magazine.