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25 Best History Podcasts to Learn About the Past in a New Way

Explore the past in a whole new way with these 25 best history podcasts. From ancient civilizations to modern times, there's something for everyone.
Kendall Breitman
Social Media & Community Expert
Last Updated:
March 19, 2024
Reviewed by
Ortal Hadad

Choosing a great history podcast to listen to can feel overwhelming, as there’s just so much choice out there! We can help you find your next great listen, with our list of the 25 Best history podcasts.

Podcasts are a unique, engaging way to absorb information through just one sense. In our highly stimulating modern world, history podcasts balance simplicity and entertainment by immersing you in stories of the past.

Are podcasts a good way to learn history?

Podcasts are a great way to absorb information through passive learning. This means all you have to do is sit back and listen to take in knowledge about important people and events throughout history.

By listening to podcasts you can learn something independently and in an environment you're comfortable with. The best podcast hosts make an effort to present information in an interesting way, through storytelling, interviews, or discussions. This creates a really enjoyable learning experience.

What is a history podcast?

A history podcast is an audio experience, where you listen to one or more hosts talk about a person or events from the past. There are a huge variety of history podcasts. Some are purely educational and present the facts in a serious, straightforward way. Others are funny, with a focus on more ridiculous moments in history.

There are podcasts that take a broad view of the whole of history from the beginning of human civiliztion, and some that focus on one specific place during one specific era. Wherever your interest in history lies, there is a podcast out there for you!

Why should you listen to history podcasts?

Are you itching to expand your history knowledge? Maybe you want to fill in those blank spots from what you learned at school? Or do you want to peek into the dark corners of the past that are often covered up?

History podcasts are a great way to dive into times gone by. They are entertaining and often free! You can find good podcasts to suit whichever aspect of history interests you most, and with a host you find appealing.

Podcasts are also an excellent way to learn history on the go – you could put one on while you drive or clean the house, or if you’re out for a run. This makes learning history simple, as you can slot it into the activities you are already doing. 

The 25 Best history podcasts to learn about the world

We have searched far and wide to bring you a list of 25 of the very best history podcasts available. Have you just finished a podcast and need a good one to replace it? Or do you have a passion for history, but don’t know where to start? Either way, we've got you covered. Check out the podcasts below, which cover everything from ancient history to folklore.

 1. History for Weirdos

History of Weirdos podcast
History for Weirdos

Host: Andrew Iverson and Stephanie Sorady

Theme: Obscure history 

Married couple Stephanie and Andrew delve into the peculiar, lesser-known crevices of history with their intriguing podcast. Moving from Ancient Persian succession to World War II spies, they cover any and every aspect of weird history. Their fun presenting style and unique topics are sure to have you questioning everything you thought you knew about the past. 

2. Slow Burn

Slow Burn history podcast
Slow Burn

Host: Josh Levin and Noreen Malone

Theme: American history

Exploring recent events that have defined American history, this podcast is perfect for understanding the foundations of American culture. Have you always wondered about the events that led to the deaths of Biggie and Tupac? What about the full story behind Watergate? Each episode of Slow Burn provides detailed storytelling with topical recordings and interviews woven into the script - an ideal podcast for fact-hungry listeners.

3. In Our Time

In Our Time history podast
In Our Time

Host: Melvyn Bragg

Theme: History that has shaped the world.

This BBC Radio 4 podcast has been so successful that it’s coming up on 1,000 episodes! Don’t worry though, there’s no need to start at the beginning. Each episode features a discussion of a different event in history. You may never have heard of Hegel’s Philosophy of History, but Melvyn Braggs’ energetic conversations with featured guests bring these stories and ideas to life for any listener. 

4. The Rest is History

The Rest is History Podcast
The Rest is History

Host: Tom Holland and Dominic Sandbrook

Theme: The history of humanity

The perfect podcast for those looking to delve deeper into history through a philosophical lens. Tom and Dominic sift through historical events, questioning human nature as they go. Each 50-minute episode is packed with knowledge and imaginative discussions. This podcast is a little weighty for a casual listener, but great food-for-thought for a history buff. 

5. The History of the World in 100 Objects

A History of the World in 100 objects podcast
The History of the World in 100 Objects

Host: Neil MacGregor 

Theme: The history of civilization shown through objects

This amazingly insightful BBC production aired in 2010 and has since been made available as a podcast. Neil MacGregor, previous director of the British Museum, explores the fascinating connections between different objects in history and how they have shaped the world today. Every episode feels fresh and significant, with the spotlight thrown on a different historic object. A must-watch for those curious about the development of civilization.

6. Making Gay History

Making Gay History podcast
Making Gay History

Host: Eric Marcus

Theme: The LGBTQ civil rights movement

A nonprofit organization, Making Gay History brings to light the essential but mostly hidden history of LGBTQ people. This fascinating production is a kind of auditory collage, with every episode featuring snippets from different historical records - interviews, television shows, or the radio. Listening to these past voices, many of whom were key figures in the LGBTQ civil rights movement, allows history to be told through the real voices of those who lived it.

7. Stuff You Missed in History Class

Stuff You Missed in History Class podcast
Stuff You Missed in History Class

Host: Holly Frey and Tracy V. Wilson

Theme: Teaching the important events of the past

For everything you were never taught in history class (or perhaps forgot!). Holly and Tracy have got you covered. Their laidback presenting style coupled with their imaginative descriptions make this an easy and immersive listening experience. Gone are stuffy classrooms and boring teachers - learning about history is fun with this podcast!

8. The Memory Palace

The Memory Palace history podcast
The Memory Palace

Host: Nate DiMeo

Theme: A storytelling podcast covering unique people in history

The Memory Palace provides an original podcast experience to its listeners. Are you drawn in by storytelling, the strange and unknown? Every episode of this show is a surprise - in fact, it’s suggested that you even watch them in random order. Pressing play is like jumping into a new world, as Nate describes a fascinating person from a time gone by with his mystical storytelling narration. Each short episode (often less than 5 minutes) is a perfect capsule to help you take a pause from a busy day and escape into a different time.

9. Blowback

Blowback history podcast

Host: Brendan James and Noah Kulwin

Theme: The Iraq War, the Cuban Revolution, and the Korean War

Blowback is the perfect in-depth podcast for fans of well-researched shows. While not the strongest recommendation for a casual history podcast listener, this is one of the best American history podcasts for those keen to hear detailed coverage of the past. Season 3 of this intriguing podcast examines the events of the Korean War. From conflict and revolutions to the leading figures of the time, you will learn everything there is to know about this period of history.  

10. History Becomes Her

History Becomes her podcast
History becomes her

Host: Rachel Thompson

Theme: Historical women and their impact on the world

This inspiring and insightful podcast brings together the old and the new. Each episode features a different female guest, who speaks with Rachel about how they have been influenced to shape today’s world by a historical female figure. With its range of special guests, the episodes range from comedic to philosophical, providing a bingeable mix of entertainment and information. 

11. Uncivil

Uncivil history podcast

Host: Jack Hitt and Chenjerai Kumanyika

Theme: The US Civil War

Uncivil is the podcast to follow to hear those stories from the civil war that were left out of the history books. Jack and Chenjerai present tales of resistance, mutiny, and forgotten struggles in a gripping storytelling style. Dive into the past as you listen to the hosts' voice the experiences of real people during the civil war, shedding light on their thoughts and feelings in this time of change.

 12. You’re Wrong About

You're Wrong About history podcast
You're Wrong About

Host: Michael Hobbes and Sarah Marshall

Theme: The unknown truth behind historical figures

Anyone with a fascination for pop culture is sure to enjoy this podcast, which takes a look at people who have fallen into public dislike throughout history. Were these figures really as they were made out to be? Or were some of them misrepresented, with the truth never coming to light? Michael and Sarah will have you questioning your own opinions with their chatty and intelligent discussions. 

13. Stuff the British Stole

Stuff the British Stole history podcast
Stuff the British Stole

Host: Marc Fennell

Theme: The history of the Commonwealth

Stuff the British Stole will have you laughing out loud while learning more than you ever knew about the history behind important artifacts. This podcast is a perfect balance of wit and wisdom suited to listeners who enjoy a dose of comedy while they discover new facts. Each episode takes one historical object and follows all the twists and turns that led it to end up where it is today. 

14. Dan Snow’s History Hit

Dan Snow History Hit podcast
Dan Snow's History Hit

Host: Dan Snow

Theme: The history behind our modern world

This extremely popular podcast from History Hit’s very own Dan Snow will help you understand today’s headlines through the events of the past. Packed with expert historians, the show uncovers the stories behind major anniversary events in the year. These easy-to-listen-to episodes are the best way to learn world history in short, digestible, fact-filled bursts.

15. History Daily

History Daily podcast
History Daily

Host: Lindsay Graham

Theme: A daily historical anniversary

Experience a moment in history every weekday with Lindsay Graham’s podcast. Each episode takes you back to a historic event that happened on this same day years ago. This podcast is ideal to listen to as you get ready in the morning or during a commute, to feel a connection with the past in your modern life. Not only does each episode provide a window into history, but it sets you up to wow your friends with historical trivia knowledge.

16. Those Conspiracy Guys

Those Consipiracy Guys history podcast
Those Conspiracy Guys

Host: Gordon Rochford

Theme: Comedy, history and True Crime

This Irish comedy podcast features host Gordon Rochford in conversation with friends Konstantin Kisin, Johnny Daly, and Edwin Sammon. With their chatty presenting style, this witty bunch weigh up the facts and fiction surrounding conspiracy theories about historical events. Settle in for episodes that often exceed 3 hours - the perfect audio escape for anyone on a long commute, or who just wants to laugh along to the motley crew’s discussions. 

17. You’re Dead to Me

You're Dead to Me history podcast
You’re Dead to Me

Host: Greg Jenner

Theme: Hilarious stories, people, and inventions throughout history

A fantastically ridiculous podcast about all the funny and entertaining aspects of history. With episodes including the history of ice cream and the life of Chinese pirate leader Zheng Yi Sao, learn the surprising facts behind the past. The podcast sometimes features special guests, such as the witty Stephen Fry. Described as a podcast ‘for those who don’t like history… and those that do’, it appeals to anyone looking for an exciting new history podcast.

18. The British History Podcast

The British History Podcast
The British History Podcast

Host: Jamie Jeffers

Theme: The History of Britain

Jamie Jeffers’ unique descriptions will have you swept up in the history of Britain. Beginning in Rome and journeying all the way to modern-day Britain, each episode progresses in chronological order. These stories take a human approach, exploring the thoughts and feelings of the people who lived in these significant times. A must-listen for fans of British history to discover the story of its humble beginnings.

19. 30 for 30

30 for 30 history podcast
30 for 30

Host: Jody Troi Avirgan

Theme: The recent history of sport

A documentary-style podcast about intriguing historical sporting teams and people, including unbelievable stories you may never have heard. Did you know that the longest baseball game ever happened in 1981 and went on for 33 innings? 30 for 30 features episodes about a variety of sporting events, documenting the highs and lows, the oddities and coincidences that make the history of sport so fascinating.

20. Casefile True Crime

Casefile True crime history podcast

Host: Anonymous

Theme: The victims of true crime

This podcast combines history and true crime, creating the perfect mash-up for fans of dark, real history. Each episode explores the victim of a killer, including how they fell prey to one of the most violent figures in history. The mysteriously anonymous host takes care to focus on the innocent victims of these crimes. Exceptionally well-researched, and with a smooth storytelling format, this immersive listening experience will have you hooked.

21. Lore

Lore history podcast

Host: Aaron Mahnke

Theme: The truth behind horror stories 

Fans of folklore will have a blast listening to this podcast, which digs beneath historic stories  to uncover the facts. Although folklore tales may seem to be just fiction, Lore examines the real events behind dark and scary tales. Each episode focuses on a different horror story, from tales of the Haunted Queen Mary to the Bloody Countess of Transylvania. And if that hasn’t caught your attention, then the detailed, often chilling, presentation of each episode surely will. 

22. The History Chicks

The History Chicks podcast
The History Chicks

Host: Beckett Graham and Susan Vollenweider

Theme: Real and fictional female characters through history

The History Chicks is the best family-friendly podcast to learn about women of the past. You may have heard of Anne Boleyn and Jane Austen, but how much do you really know about the lives they lived, their struggles and successes? Beckett and Susan bring these ladies to life with their bubbly and enthusiastic discussion style. Kids and adults alike can enjoy not only this entertaining podcast but the informative online resources available on their website.

23. Ridiculous History

Ridiculous History podcast
Ridiculous History

Host: Ben Bowlin and Noel Brown

Theme: Strange events throughout history

As serious and significant history can be, it is also full of all kinds of ridiculous events. Have you heard about the inventors who were killed by their own inventions? How about the surprising history of pringles? Ridiculous History is the best podcast for anyone with a curious mind in search of all the wacky details about the past. Fantastically fun to listen to, this laidback podcast creates the sense that you’re part of the conversation, laughing along with the hosts.

24. Our Fake History

Our Fake History podcast
Our Fake History

Host: Sebastian Major

Theme: Investigating the truth about historical myths

A lot of unbelievable stories have stood the test of time, like the idea that Queen Elizabeth was really a man, or the legend of the fountain of youth. But is there really any truth behind these tall tales? Sebastian Major is keen to find out, with each episode focused on a different historical myth and the facts and fiction that surround it. 

25. Real Dictators

Real Dictators history podcast
Real Dictators

Host: Paul McGann

Teme: Historical dictators

You might know of Paul McGann’s acting skills from his time on Doctor Who and Luther, and they are certainly displayed in this dramatic podcast about the worst dictators in history. Scored with an atmospheric soundtrack, every episode of Real Dictators feels interesting and hard-hitting. Paul brings the facts of the past to life with his powerful vocal acting, which shine in this well-produced and expertly researched podcast.

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Best overall history podcasts

Still stuck for what to listen to? We can help narrow down your choices by telling you the best history podcast you can listen to in a specific category. Of course, this is just our opinion - although the podcasts below have a track record as award-winners and popular hits on audio-sharing platforms. 

Best ancient history podcast

Origin Stories is an award-winning show available on Apple Podcasts. A unique combination of science and ancient history, this podcast uses modern research to understand humanity’s past. The episodes feature special guests, deep dives into mysterious historical figures, and the evolutionary history of different species. This podcast will hit the spot not just for history lovers, but anyone with a scientific curiosity about civilization. At around 30 minutes per episode, it’s the best podcast to feast your ears on during a work commute!

Best world history podcast

Widely considered the best general world history podcast, it’s no surprise that The History of the World in 100 Objects has over 10 million podcast downloads. Why has it been so successful? It comes down to narrator Neil MacGregor’s captivating voice. He creates an accessible window into history by using different objects to talk about historical time periods. Every item he chooses is unique and important, from a map to a porcelain elephant. With each object and episode, the podcast moves chronologically through the whole of human history!  

Best American history podcast

Uncivil is an amazingly well-produced podcast. Not only is it a dramatic, unique, and immersive retelling of the hidden stories of the US civil war, but every episode is layered with a mood-setting soundtrack. Winner of the 2017 Peabody award, every episode of this podcast is independent, shedding light on a piece of American history that has been buried. The official story you might know about the civil war is about to be turned on its head with these tales of corruption, mutiny, and uprising.

Best history podcast for beginners

For an easy, short, and accessible podcast try out You’re Dead to Me. This laugh-out-loud podcast combines comedy with facts as host Greg Jenner brings together wacky and wonderful stories throughout history. Covering a range of periods and with special guests including Stephen Fry, it’s the perfect lighthearted break during a busy day or a long journey. Just press play to learn about some of the most important people in history, like Mary Seacole and Julius Caesar - mixed in with a lot of great jokes, of course. 

FAQs on the Best History Podcasts

Does the History channel have podcasts?

Currently, the History channel only provides television shows and not podcasts. However, there are plenty of history podcasts out there for you to discover on different platforms. For example, History Hit TV is an online history channel with podcasts.

Are History Hit podcasts free?

History Hit TV is a streaming service brimming with historical dramas and TV. The service itself is not free, costing $4.99 a month and $49.99 a year. However, you can find free History Hit podcasts on Spotify and Apple Podcasts. These include Dan Snow’s History Hit, Not Just the Tudors, and Gone Medieval.

What is the best podcast app for history podcasts?

The best place to listen to history podcasts is on a user-friendly designated podcast platform. The best of these are Apple Podcasts and Spotify, as they provide the biggest range of history podcasts. You can also see reviews of podcasts on them and easily scroll through different episodes. Both apps can be used for free, but you will need an Apple device to listen to Apple podcasts on the go. 

Start your own History Podcast

If you’re a history lover with your own facts about the past to share, you might be wondering how to make your own history podcast. It’s natural to feel a little nervous about trying something new, but if podcasting sounds appealing to you why not check out our user-friendly recording platform at Riverside? 

Creators such as Gary Vaynerchuk and Jay Shetty use our platform to record podcasts, videos and live streams. It’s free to get started with Riverside, and we have everything from recording to editing tools. Who knows, in the future your podcast could be featured on a list like this one!

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