From art to architecture, music to history, certain destinations around the world offer an awe-inspiring insight into the truly great achievements of human history. Here are 10 of the best cultural travel experiences to be found.
1. The Amber Room at Catherine’s Palace, Russia
Marvel at the summer palace of Catherine I of Russia built in 1752, with its opulent Great Hall, Portrait Hall, Green Dining room and the renowned Amber Room, which was looted by the Germans during World War II and re-opened in 2003, restored largely with German funds.
2. Britain’s oldest botanic garden at Oxford University, England
Wander amongst over 5,000 plant species in this compact 5-acre garden, founded in 1621 to support medical practice and share knowledge. Don’t miss a visit to the only original tree still living, the English yew.
3. The Bent and Red Pyramids in Cairo
Experience the frustration and sheer ambitiousness of Pharaoh Sneferu as you stand before his unsuccessful first attempt at a smooth-sided pyramid, the Bent Pyramid. Then, make your way to its successful replacement, the Red Pyramid, where Sneferu was laid to rest in around 2589 BC.
4. Lake Inle in Myanmar
Lake Inle’s 116 square kilometres provide some of the most breathtaking cultural travel experiences possible. Visit the floating gardens, markets and communities on stilts, then watch as the leg-rowers elegantly make their way over the water.
5. Morocco’s blue village, Chefchaouen
Visit Chefchaouen nestled in the Rif Mountains and amble down cobbled lanes of distinctive powder-blue buildings designed to serve as a reminder of God’s power. Find your way to the Kasbah (fortress) with its tiny ethnographic museum and art gallery.
6. The Kiyomizu Temple near Kyoto, Japan
Head just east of Kyoto and you will find Kiyomizu Temple, or Pure Water Temple, first built on the edge of Otowa Waterfall in 778 AD completely without the use of nails. Look over the city and drink from one of the three streams for your choice of a long life, love or success in learning.
7. Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater in the United States
There’s no better way to appreciate Frank Lloyd Wright’s American architectural works than with a private tour of his iconic 1939 design Fallingwater in rural Pennsylvania. This renowned weekender hovers over a waterfall on Bear Run and its effect is unforgettable.
8. The San Francisco Monastery in Lima, Peru
The San Francisco Monastery is one of Lima’s best preserved examples of colonial architecture and baroque interiors, but there’s more to see here. Descend into its catacombs, where an estimated 75,000 remains including skulls and bones are arranged in haunting circles.
9. The Nasr el-Molk mosque in Shiraz, Iran
Shiraz is home to poetic beauty in all forms. A visit to the Nasr el-Molk mosque will have you speechless at its exquisite patterned tiles and rainbow stained glass windows framed by elegant arches. It is designed to catch the morning sun, so get there early for the best light.
10. A classical concert in Vienna, Austria
Vienna has been home to some of the most beloved European composers, including Mozart, Beethoven, Haydn, Schubert and Brahms. No visit to the city is complete without experiencing a classical performance at the the Wiener Musikverein concert hall.
Academy Travel is an Australian-owned travel company, dedicated to providing tailored small group journeys for individuals and associations. Academy Travel is a qualified travel agency. As well as managing your tour booking, our experienced consultants are happy to assist with all aspects of your travel, including international flights, pre and post-tour accommodation and travel insurance.