Most cities are defined by their landmark attractions, but often it’s the least conspicuous places that leave the biggest impression. If you like to get off the beaten path when you travel somewhere new, take a look at Culture Trip’s suggestions below.
From secret gardens to mini museums packed with fascinating objects, every country has hidden gems that can be all too easily overlooked. Stray from the beaten path a little, and you could encounter something quite unexpected. Often, these lesser-known attractions are a lot closer than you might think – and the ultimate way to embrace and experience the local culture of a country.
If you’ve ever dreamed of starring in your own version of Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory, this may be the closest you’ll ever come. Shanghai’s Zotter Chocolate Theatre is a chocolate factory, a tasting parlour and café all rolled into one – with sweet whimsical creations tempting visitors from all angles. Grab a tasting spoon and dive in. There are liquid chocolate fountains, plates stacked with flavoured chocolates and a ‘smelling and curiosity cabinet’ which lets you guess different aromas. You’ll also get to learn about the origins of chocolate by watching a short film and see chocolates being made as you wander through. Just make sure you arrive with an empty stomach…
With an estimated 1,200,000 burial plots, Glasnevin Cemetery is the largest cemetery in Ireland. On this walking tour you’ll get to head back to a Victorian Dublin and hear captivating stories about the people laid to rest here. Hear all about what life was like in Dublin at the turn of the century and soak up the peaceful surroundings while you learn about the famous Irish figures buried here, including political leader Daniel O’Connell, on a visit to the O’Connell Crypt and Tower.
This museum-gallery proves that seeing really is believing. It houses a collection of microscopic artwork that’s only completely visible when you peer through a magnifying glass or the lens of an microscope. Lean in to admire the astonishing details – from a gold-wire rose built inside a hollowed-out human hair to a Rembrandt masterpiece repainted onto a pumpkin seed. With this experience, an expert guide will tell you about the artists responsible for these breathtaking creations, and explain the painstaking methods that go into each one.
This incredible wooden observation tower overlooks the beautiful Gisselfeld Klosters Forest, just over an hour’s drive away from Copenhagen. It was designed with accessibility in mind, given that instead of steps, visitors ascend using a walkway that spirals around the 140-metre(459-feet)-high tower from top to bottom. Made entirely of local oak and weathered steel, the impact on the environment is kept to a minimum too. Head to the very top to marvel at panoramic views of hills, lakes, meadows and streams – and on a clear day, you might even be able to see the Danish capital glinting in the distance.