Concerts are always a good excuse for me to take another trip. I have been to hundreds of concerts; music has taken me to many places, from the Bahamas to New York to Copenhagen to Paris. Besides concerts alone, which destinations are great for people who love music & rhythm and would like to add some to their travels?
One of the things that keeps me coming back to Ireland is the live music at the Irish pubs. Anywhere around the country, simply find a pub and you will find music. Order a pint of Guinness, sit down, relax and enjoy the music. Joining an Irish pub crawl in Dublin can be fun too!
Have you ever heard about Enya? Celtic music is the only music I bear while studying or working. God knows how many nights I sat there in my student flat cramming for exams with ‘May It Be’ blasting from my speakers. I am still dreaming of a live Enya concert outside at an old historical sight one day. Until then, driving around the Irish landscape with Enya through the speakers will do. Goose bumps.
Read more in my Ireland Blog Archives
Sitting on a terrace in sunny Havana, you will definitely encounter live bands at some point. For example at Plaza de Armas and Parque Central. Guaranteed you will hear lots of ‘Guantanamera’, but also many other lovely songs lively performed by locals. At the end, they will try sell their CD to the audience. Trinidad has a great music scene as well. You can dance the night away and show off your salsa moves, in bars and on the streets.
Read more in my Cuba Blog Archive
Fado, a sentimental type of song that is originated from and popular in Portugal. In Lisbon, there are special Fado shows and restaurants where a Fado singer will perform during dinner. One may think Fado is somewhat whiny as the singer puts a lot of emotion and drama into the songs, but Fado is pure Portuguese culture. My friend Marion is fan of Fado music, but unfortunately, she is afraid to fly. Besides music, there are a lot more reasons to visit Lisbon by the way, a wonderful city!
Read more in my Portugal Blog Archive
Nashville, Tennessee (USA) is home to many record labels and recording studios; millions of songs are born here. Sun Studios, Blackbird Studios, Ocean Way, The Tracking Room, Welcome to 1979, Dark Horse Recording, Sound Kitchen Studios, etc. From Bob Dylan to Jimi Hendrix to Simon and Garfunkel to Dolly Parton, they have all recorded songs here.
There is a reason why Nashville’s nickname is the Music City. The city has a long track record of musicians visiting Nashville to write and record songs. Nowadays there are many other recording studios around the US; however, Nashville keeps its musical reputation high.
Nashville particularly has a big finger in the country music pie. Artists like Kings of Leon, Miley Cyrus and Lady Antebellum also found their way to Nashville’s studios. Besides live performances, take the Music City Hop On and Hop Off Tour, check out the Country Music Hall of Fame, Stax Museum of American Soul and the legendary road known as Honky Tonk Highway, blasting out music 365 days a year.
While you are in Tennessee anyway, I would definitely go to Memphis too, another music city. And oh yes, Elvis lived there. Obviously you’ll have to visit Graceland. Tip: Memphis Music Attraction Discount Pass.
Obviously, Carnival is a great time to see and hear a lot of Brazilian music and dance. Right on the streets of Rio. During Carnival, Rio de Janeiro is bustling more than ever and people enjoy themselves. Just watch your stuff, Rio is not the safest place on earth.
Party lovers alert! This island at the east coast of Spain is THE place to be in summer for those who like house music. All the big names play at least a set on Ibiza each summer. Calvin Harris, Martin Garrix, David Guetta, Tiësto, Hardwell, Afrojack, Armin van Buuren, Carl Cox, etc. at clubs like Amnesia, Pacha and Ushuaïa. Or hop on a party boat and dance till dawn.
Ibiza attracts many young people (18-40), rich & famous, but also hippies and yoga addicts. The party scene is big and important on Ibiza, especially around Ibiza City, however also people seeking nature and quietness can definitely enjoy themselves on the beautiful island. There are some very good yoga retreats.
Read more in my Ibiza Blog Archive
Stereotype thought: Asians are not musical. Think again! South Korea has its very own pop music culture called K-Pop, which is very popular, also outside of Korea. Shops with records, posters and other memorabilia, you see it everywhere in Myeongdong (Seoul) for example. You can take a K-Pop Tour too!!
Do you like singing? Go for karaoke (noraebang) and pick your favorite song! In Asia, karaoke usually takes place in private rooms that you can rent for several hours. Have a great time practising your K-Pop skills!
Flamenco is a music and dance style originated from Jerez de la Frontera and Seville. Walking around these cities, you will definitely see flamenco dancers perform passionately. On the streets, in bars and in theatres.
Flamenco is a professionalized art form that includes instruments like guitar and castanets. The women wear special dresses, often black/red with dots. Jerez de la Frontera organizes an annual Flamenco Festival, attracting top flamenco dancers and musicians from around the world.
Read more in my Jerez de La Frontera article
The capital of Austria has many classical architecture. In addition, people from around the world come to Vienna to see an opera and/or classical orchestra perform. A former colleague of mine from South Korea travels to Vienna frequently, mainly to attend such performances.
The Wien Staatsoper is famous around the world and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra has a long tradition of New Year’s concerts, broadcasted in over 90 countries.
Read more in my Austria Blog Archive
Who says Jamaica, says reggae and Bob Marley. A wonderful, exotic holiday destination with a musical edge. You can even book a reggae themed hotel in Montego Bay, Jamaica. Just do not get confused, by booking a swingers’ resort for music LOL that is another type of adult only hotel to swing your hips around…Go and find out about Bob Marley’s roots and/or go to one of the reggae bars in Negril and Kingston for example. In July, there is Reggae Sumfest.
UK, Netherlands & more
United Kingdom, the land of the Beatles, Oasis, Amy Winehouse and Adele. Every year, Beatles fans go to Liverpool to honor and celebrate Beatles music. In Prague you can visit the Beatles art wall, in my hometown Alkmaar there is a Beatles Museum.
If you like music and outdoors; there are also many great music festivals in the UK, especially in summer, such as Glastonbury and Creamfields. Actually, these music festivals are all over Europe, like:
- Netherlands: Pinkpop, Lowlands, Mysteryland, Amsterdam Dance Event, North Sea Jazz
- Germany: Lollapalooza (Berlin)
- Belgium: Rock Werchter, Tomorrowland
- Denmark: Roskilde
- Hungary: Sziget
Concerning concerts in Europe, my favorite concert locations include: Paradiso (Amsterdam), Ziggodome (Amsterdam) and Bercy (Paris). Averagely, the smaller the better. Besides Enya in the Irish landscape, I would love to see Andrea Bocelli perform live in Tuscany.
Every self-respecting cruise ship provides on-board entertainment to its guests. Over the last 10 years, this entertainment service was developed further. Nowadays there are also special music themed cruise ship trips around a musician, band or musical line up.
For example: Sea & Music Cruise (classical), Monsters of Rock Cruise, Rock Legends Cruise, Cruise to the Edge, The Rock Boat, Grammy Festival at Sea, Jam Cruise, Country Cruising, Aventura Dance Cruise (Latin), Salsa Cruise, etc. Can you imagine?
Sometimes the entire cruise trip is completely focused on one band, from KISS to Kid Rock to Backstreet Boys to the New Kids On The Block. Not all but many of these cruises depart from a port in Florida like Miami (USA), sometimes west coast USA or Mediterranean. And yes, I did one! Guess which?
The routes and duration vary, but count on exotic places like Nassau (Bahamas), Costa Maya, Cozumel (Mexico) and Grand Turk, average 3-6 days. These musical themed cruises are not cheap, but I can tell you from personal experience; they are good fun!
Have you ever traveled for music? What is your favorite music style or band?
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