The gentle strum of an acoustic guitar. A familiar tune at a roadside cafe. Or a song that takes you back to a much simpler time in your life. Music has that rare ability to transport you to a whole other realm. If you’ve been dreaming of visiting some of the world’s iconic musical landmarks, here’s an immersive tour of some of the best music destinations for an unparalleled cultural experience.
The German capital presents a melting pot of musical influences, from classical, rock and jazz to dance and techno. Berlin has always drawn in artists, musicians and composers from across Europe, be it Ferruccio Busoni, the Italian born pianist and conductor who set the tone for contemporary music in Germany or David Bowie who jammed in basement bars in the city in the 70s and 80s.
In fact, Berlin played a big role in shaping Bowie’s musical career, inspiring some of his more successful albums such as Low and Heroes. A David Bowie tour will give you glimpses of the musician’s life and times in Berlin, including the apartment he shared with Iggy Pop, the bars he frequented, and the famous Hansa Studios where he recorded. The city has arguably some of the best record stores you’ll ever find. Scour through the seemingly limitless collection of vinyls at Space Hall or Hard Wax.
Germany is a treasure trove for classical music lovers. Legendary composers such as Beethoven, Strauss, Brahms and Schumann were drawn to the country and most of them lived, worked and performed in the captivating city of Berlin. Discover the multicultural musical landscape of Mannheim, Hannover and Munich, and several landmarks in Berlin such as the Berlin State Opera (Staatsoper), Konzerthaus Berlin and the Berlin Philharmonie that hosts one of the best orchestras in the world.
A UNESCO City Of Music, Bogota has been at the forefront of channeling music to create a positive impact. Take the Festivales Al Parque (Festivals In Parks), for instance. Instituted in 1995 after a tumultuous period of violence in the early 90s, the free festival aims to help people reclaim public spaces and connect using music as a vehicle.
Today, the Colombian capital city is a cornucopia of musical talent featuring a heady mix of cumbia, salsa, rock, ska, hip hop and electronic influences. Bogota is deemed the party capital of Latin America, and you can see why as you stroll down Chapinero, a hip neighborhood brimming with bars, clubs and music venues. Establishments such as Armando Records and Matik-Matik are great places to discover the local music scene and catch international acts.
At the core of the city is Plaza de Bolivar, the main square flanked by old cathedrals, palaces and public monuments, while the newer areas including Zona Rosa are perfect if you want to experience the city’s famed nightlife.
There’s no escaping music when you’re in London. Strains of a familiar tune drift in every corner of the city, and before you know it, you’re humming along. This is, after all, where some of the biggest pop and rock acts in the world lived, recorded and performed. Think The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Freddie Mercury, The Kinks, Led Zeppelin and so many more.
Walk down Abbey Road, take the obligatory picture at the zebra crossing and pop by Abbey Road Studios where The Beatles recorded all their albums until 1970. Fans of The Rolling Stones are also in for a treat: West London is rife with snippets from the band’s history, including their early home in Chelsea. Denmark Street (in the map below) in Soho is a mecca for those looking to understand the city’s popular music history, while Berwick Street is choc a bloc full of independent record stores. Classical music fans can also visit the hallowed grounds of Royal Albert Hall or enjoy a ballet performance at Royal Opera House.
Of course London isn’t the only musical hot spot in the United Kingdom. Glasgow, Scotland has some of the most lively music venues across the UK. King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut has been a torchbearer of the city’s live music culture since the early 90s. It’s here that Oasis was discovered, heralding the Britpop wave, and bands including Arctic Monkeys, Radiohead, Coldplay, Blur and more played here before shooting to stardom. Elsewhere in Dublin, Ireland, Grafton Street comes alive with buskers and the city’s buzzing nightlife is sure to draw you in.
We Recommend: Soak up the best of England and Scotland on our tour that packs in culture, history and plenty of natural beauty.
The Austrian capital is considered the classical music capital, and with good reason. Vienna has hosted many illustrious composers such as Mozart, Haydn, Berg and more. Take a walk down Stadtpark to see monuments and statues in honor of some of the greatest composers of all time.
Mozart was among the most celebrated Viennese composers during the classical period. Though born in Salzburg, he moved to the capital city, just like many other composers of his time, to make the most of Vienna’s musical access. Mozart aficionados can visit Mozarthaus Vienna, the composer’s apartment in the city, now a museum in the old part of town.
Vienna lives and breathes music. The city brims with musical landmarks such as the Johann Strauss Museum, Haydn House, The Secession Building and more. Visit the House Of Music, an interactive sound museum, catch a performance at the Vienna State Opera House or try your hand at leading the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra at the Virtual Conductor installation. The Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien also showcases a collection of historic musical instruments from across the world including Viennese fortepianos and clavichords.
Looking for some more inspiration? We’ve put together a playlist to take you on a sensory journey to our top music destinations.
There’s nothing quite like getting to know a city through its rich and varied musical heritage. Set out on a music and culture themed vacation with us and get ready to see the world from a new perspective. Our travel teams are experts at curating personalised trips with your interests in mind. Get in touch with us and let’s press play on that dream vacation!
ready to follow the music?