The most magical experiences in life often come when you’re least expecting them. From sleeping next to an actual lion’s den in London to partying in a decades-old spa in Budapest, Culture Trip has teamed up with Chivas XV, a new 15-year-old Scotch whisky for celebratory moments, to discover experiences from around the world that elevate the ordinary to the extraordinary.
Skate on a frozen canal in Amsterdam
If you’ve ever felt like seeing the gorgeously cobbled streets of Amsterdam from a different perspective and don’t fancy paying for a boat trip, head to the city when it’s in the grip of winter. When it gets very cold, the canals freeze over and you’re able to skate right through the city, getting a privileged view of the Dutch capital’s houses, bars and museums. Skating along an Amsterdam waterway with the cold breeze whipping at your hair is a remarkable experience you won’t forget.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Party hard in Budapest’s Roman baths
The beautiful and historic baths in Budapest have been enjoyed by locals and visitors alike for hundreds of years. Ordinarily, attendees splash about in the hot, mineralised water and the swimming pools. But now you can head to the baths at night, when on certain occasions they’re transformed into clubs filled with loud music, flashing lights and warm water aplenty. Called Sparties, the club nights are a great way to meet people and have fun in traditional structures that have never been used this way before. Bathtime has never been so much fun.
Berlin’s urban beaches
When the weather hots up in Germany’s capital, residents in the know head down to Berlin’s beaches. Unlikely as it might sound, Berlin has a thriving urban beach culture and there are multiple spots to choose from. On what looks like an ordinary stretch of sand, countless bars pepper the River Spree with deckchairs, palm trees and a glass of something cold to offer visitors. For a truly memorable experience, try the Capital Beach Berlin, which has dance classes and a DJ, or head to the Badeschiff, a floating bathhouse which puts on yoga and standup paddleboarding lessons. They tend to be open from May to September, so pack that sun factor and prepare to party.
Burning Man festival in the Nevada desert
Once a year in the summer, an otherwise ordinary patch of the Black Rock Desert in Nevada is transformed into a pulsing, lively meeting of minds and art for Burning Man festival. Celebrating artistic self-expression and self-reliance, the festival leaves no trace after it’s happened – you could head to the spot a few weeks after it’s finished and be completely oblivious to the fact it was the scene of such a stunning spectacle.
Zip line over the Great Wall of China
One of the most famous tourist attractions in the world, seeing China’s Great Wall is on many people’s bucket lists. Instead of joining the hordes of tourists walking the route, however, you can see it from a different perspective and have an extraordinary experience to boot by zip lining alongside it. It’s been around for centuries but you’ll be one of only a lucky few to get a 360-degree view of it.
Explore a cave lit by glowworms
Caves have a reputation for being dark, dank and altogether unpleasant. But the Waitomo Glowworm Caves in New Zealand is no ordinary cave. Thousands of bioluminescent worms transform the murky surroundings into something quite magical. There are so many of them that the ceiling of the caves resembles the night sky, with the larvae clinging to the ceiling and illuminating their bodies to tempt insects to fly towards them so they can catch them in a sticky web. This fascinating place is unlike any cave you’ve seen before.
Sleep in the lion’s den
Get an up close and personal look at London Zoo by staying in Gir Lion Lodge. Located right in the thick of the action next to the lion enclosure, guests get after-hours tours of the zoo and can experience feeding and seeing animals that the public aren’t privy to. If you’ve ever wanted to turn a standard trip to the zoo into an unforgettable experience, this one’s for you.
Chivas XV is available exclusively to travellers and proves a serious whisky doesn’t need a serious setting to be enjoyed. The expert blend is available now in major airports worldwide and in China, before rolling out globally from 1 October 2018. Head to duty-free to discover Chivas XV on your next trip.
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Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.