By Joseph Alcantara | @flywithjoseph
Enriching travel experiences make journeys more meaningful. Fortunately, the trend among travel junkies has evolved from the passé country-ticking to a more matured aspiration of fulfilling a cultured approach. Finding inspiring destinations reflecting one’s personality, preferences and dreams is now key.
One angle that personally interests me is the celebration of arts and culture. Traveling the world to witness these once-in-a-lifetime experiential masterpieces make every journey instantly lead to the though ‘what and where next?’.
If you haven’t felt that yet, start with eight of my favorite destinations to ignite your artistic travel hat and keep building your bucket list that’s meant to make your character fuller and your soul richer.
Walk with Gaudi in Barcelona, Spain
Fall in love with the city as you see his genius architecture in every corner. The world-famous La Sagrada Familia is the epitome of eternal art while the UNESCO World Heritage Parc Guell is an attraction to behold. When you visit, you can only live and breathe the real Barcelona if you get intimate with Gaudi’s masterpieces.
Watch a Mozart Opera in Vienna, Austria
Celebrate the essence of why music became music in Mozart’s country. Definitely a ‘must do’ before you die, feast your ears on his classics in full orchestra with the impeccable voices of opera singers. A tour of the glorious State Opera House is also recommended to complete the regal experience.
Embrace street art in New Orleans, USA
Not only the home of jazz and ‘Mardi Gras’, but also of quirky urban art. Take a trip to the Magazine Street and see vibrant colours juxtaposed to that ‘old America’ look and feel. Stop by a café or pub, sit outdoors and simply enjoy the hip vibe while witnessing the visual spectacle.
Experience classic heritage in Japan
Boasting with ageless tradition, find the heart of Japanese history and art here. Its simple, symmetrical and logical architectural style in temples, shrines and parks showcase the modern country’s commitment to its rich past. Consider visiting during the cherry blossom season as it will be divine across all directions.
Empathize with Anne Frank in Amsterdam, Holland
Re-live Anne Frank’s poignant literature by visiting the place where she went into hiding during the holocaust. Your every step in the museum will be spine tingling and quite depressing, yet will draw more understanding of yesterday’s realities and how they’ve transcended today in different lessons and forms.
Truly unique and controversial, it is not for the faint hearted. You need to have an open mind if you intend to visit this self-proclaimed autonomous neighbourhood in Copenhagen filled with hippie creative structures and murals.Besides what’s physical, you’ll find its real art in the place’s people, mentality and stories.
Travel back in time to Petra, Jordan
One of the ‘New 7 Wonders of the World’ and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the archaeological city is art on its own. Its aesthetically breathtaking rocks, structures, sands and unique landscape will keep you in awe. If you’re a history geek or fascinated by biblical stories, extend your visit to the Dead Sea, Wadi Rum and Jerash too.
See a real-life museum in Rome, Italy
‘Strolling around Rome feels like being part of an art museum’ is even an understatement. The Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, Roman Forum, Spanish Steps, Castel Sant Angelo and Pantheon are only a few of the structures that define art and history.Also worth crossing its neighbouring city, Vatican for St. Peter’s Basilica. After experiencing all these, don’t be surprised if you end up saying ‘I want to live here’.
100MIFG honoree, global citizen and blogger Joseph Alcantara is the man behind the Emirates group’s Marketing Communications for the Middle East region and southern Europe.
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