An ancient Quranic language that originated in the Arabian peninsula, Arabic has indelibly shaped civilisations across the Middle East and Africa. Today it is the fifth most spoken language in the world, shared by over 400 million people. From literature and poetry, to arts, music, film and everyday life, the Arabic language is absolutely worth exploring.
‘Nur’ (nur) / light
‘Nur’, meaning light, is a common unisex name. It can be derived in a number of ways to compliment someone or create compound names connected to religion, like ‘Nur Allah’ (light of God), or ‘Nur al-Din’ (light of religion).
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.
‘Ishq’ (ishq) / passion
The term ‘ishq’ refers to a passionate and irresistible level of love. It derives from the verbal root ‘asaq’, meaning to stick or cling onto. The word is also connected to the term ‘asaqah’, meaning ivy.
‘Oum’ (oum) / mother
Mothers are key figures in Arab culture, so this word has connotations of high respect and admiration. The term can also be added to the end of other words to mean the mother of someone or the foundation for something.
‘Habibi/ti’ (ha-beeb-i/ti) / my love
‘Habibi’ (‘habibti’ for girls) derives from the word ‘hubb’, meaning love. It literally translates to ‘my love’, and can be used in formal and informal contexts, often in songs or when referring to a partner.
‘Quwa’ (qu-wa) / power
‘Quwa’ is a common Arabic word used to express strength or power. You can use it to describe someone’s strength physically or mentally. In Islam, it is understood that no one is more powerful than God.
‘Qamar’ (qa-mar) / moon
‘Qamar’, meaning moon, is extremely important to Islam. Qamar refers to one of the suras of the Quran regarding Judgement Day and also relates to the Islamic calendar, which is lunar-based. You can also say ‘ya qamar’ to refer to someone as your moon.
‘Qalb’ (qalb) / heart
When you refer to someone as ‘qalb’, meaning heart, you are elevating their importance to your life. The term emphasises a hard ‘q’ sound and is not to be confused with the term ‘kalb’, meaning dog!
‘Shams’ (shams) / sun
‘Shams’, meaning sun, has been used in a variety of contexts in the Arabic language. It is a common name for places because of the associated brightness and radiance of the sun. It has also been used to describe musicians, places and religious concepts or deities.
‘Salam’ (sa-laam)/ peace
‘Salam’ is one of the simplest but most powerful terms in the Arabic language. It means ‘peace’, and can be used to greet strangers on the street to convey respect and good intentions. It can also be used at the end of a conversation to wish someone well.
‘Saha’ (sa-ha) / health
The word ‘saha’ is said to wish you good health or blessings. A common derivative of the word, ‘sahtayn’ is always said before starting a meal. The response, ‘ala qalbak’ means ‘to your heart’.
‘Helm’ (he–lm) / dream
‘Helm’ is the singular word for dream; the plural term is ‘ahlam’. You can say goodnight to someone by saying ‘ahlam saeeda’, which means that you hope the person has happy dreams.
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Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
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.