Music is one of the best ways to experience another culture abroad. Whether it’s catching a live gig or picking up some vinyl that’s hard to get at home, your trip could end up expanding your cultural horizons.
Watching your favourite band perform abroad with your closest friends is one of those unforgettable moments that everyone should experience once in their lifetime.
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.
These days, more people are heading abroad to get their musical fix. Whether you’re already travelling and want to be entertained for a few hours or you’ve made the trip especially to see a gig or go to a festival, watching live music is a great way to experience the local culture. Here are Culture Trip’s top five music destinations for 2019.
Head to South by Southwest in Austin, United States
There’s dedication to music, and then there’s giving yourself the nickname ‘Live Music Capital of the World’. Austin, in the state of Texas, more than lives up to its self-appointed label. It’s most famous for South by Southwest (SXSW), a cutting-edge showcase for the best in music, film and interactive media that takes place every year, as well as the Austin City Limits festival. There’s also an incredible array of live venues all over the city including dive bars and ornate theatres.
Take in the Sziget Festival in Budapest, Hungary
Hungary’s capital has everything to keep even the most demanding music fan happy. You can catch a rock gig at a ruin bar, a concert aboard a revamped Ukrainian ship or a show at one of the city’s most beautiful landmarks, St Stephen’s Basilica. The highlight of the city’s arts calendar is the annual Sziget Festival in the summer, which brings together the biggest names in music for what has been dubbed Budapest’s version of Glastonbury.
Dance ’til you drop at Oasis in Marrakech, Morocco
Marrakech has long been a winter holiday favourite, but the Moroccan city is fast becoming the go-to destination for dance fans thanks to two new festivals offering them the chance to get their rave on in the North African sunshine. Oasis festival brings together the finest names in house and techno, while Atlas Electronica, held just outside the city in Villa Janna, prides itself on its intimate atmosphere.
Enjoy everything from opera to rock in Paris, France
Paris isn’t just the most romantic city in the world; it’s also one of the best for live music. The French capital is home to several legendary concert venues and a host of smaller, cosier spaces. Catch an opera at the magnificent Palais Garnier, watch an indie gig at La Cigale, or check out new acts at L’International. Numerous festivals are held throughout the year including Pitchfork Paris, We Love Green and Rock en Seine.
Sip the local wine at NOS Primavera Sound in Porto, Portugal
The Portuguese city has long had a reputation as a relaxed coastal destination with a charming old town and great wine bars. But in the past few years it has become increasingly popular with music fans due to NOS Primavera Sound, an offshoot of the trendy Barcelona festival, which people visit so they can listen to the incredible line-up of indie artists while sipping port.
For more of this series, check out our wishlist article on fashion destinations in 2019.
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