One of the most beautiful things about travel is that it lets us broaden our horizons, see new sights and soak in new cultures. If this is what motivates you, then here are some of the best tips for cultural destinations across the globe, courtesy of your favorite Sydney travel agency.
Bhutan is a hidden paradise, a kingdom situated high in the Himalayas and rich in culture and tradition. In the Land of the Thunder Dragon, you’ll see gorgeous monasteries clinging to sheer cliffs and colourful prayer flags fluttering along the ridges. If you come during spring or autumn, you can join in the religious festivals celebrated by chanting monks in rich rode robes and local decked out in their finest jewelry and clothing. To top it off, this stunning cultural display is set against the backdrop of some of the most spectacular natural surroundings you can imagine.
Cambodia is an ideal destination for culture lovers and those who thrive in diverse natural surroundings. Along the coast you can luxuriate in tropical beaches bordering turquoise waters, while inland you can take in the view of terraced rice paddies bordering lush jungles. One of the best things about Cambodia is that it’s full of magnificent temple ruins such as Ta Phrom, Ankgor Thom, and Angkor Wat. The best time to come is during the cool season from November to February. This is the perfect weather for exploring the magic of these ancient temple ruins.
The Indian subcontinent is one of the most colourful destinations on the planet. It’s also one of those destinations that you’ll need to visit more than a few times if you want to take everything in. From the magnificent Taj Mahal to the sacred city of Varanasi, the Mughal monuments and ancient temples of Rajasthan to the phenomenal carvings of Khajuraho, everywhere you travel you’ll be overwhelmed by culture and splendour. Any large city you visit will feature sprawling marketplaces, ancient tombs, and historical mosques. It’s a place that must be seen to be believed. And with such a vast country, steeped in tradition and crackling with energy, the best way to plan a trip to India is to check with your luxury travel agent for the ideal times and destinations.
7. The Low Countries (Netherland and Belgium)
If you’re considering a holiday to Europe, the Low Countries may not be the first destination that comes to mind. But for a true culture lover, it’s not to be missed. These two countries are next door to one another, and together house some of the most amazing paintings of the planet. Amsterdam has an amazing collection of museums featuring works from some of the most phenomenal painters of the Northern Renaissance. Think Vermeer, Rembrandt, and Rubens. Seeing these works in person is like nothing else. In Belgium, you can see the works of Memling and Van Eyck or take a tour through Ghent or Bruges, two of the best preserved medieval cities in the world.
Japan is a phenomenal destination for the culture lover. Those who appreciate a more modern setting will be dazzled by the lights, motion, and sheer scope of Tokyo. And for the traditionalists, you can visit the imperial city of Kyoto or travel through the lesser known areas to explore ancient temples and shrines, or just to soak in the majesty of the Japanese countryside. Though the country can be visited comfortably all year round, one of the best times to explore Japan is from September to November, as the rains end and the leaves begin to turn.
5. Central America
All throughout Central America are remnants of the Mayan, Toltec, and Aztec civilizations, all nestled into a background of lush jungle, tropical beaches and majestic waterfalls. You can travel to Guatemala to visit Tikal, a sprawling Mayan ruin with over 300 ancient buildings, including dwellings, altars, tombs, a palace, and a soaring pyramid. Other famous sites include Tulum and Chichen Itza, both to be found in Mexico in stunning surroundings. This is just the tip of the iceberg, though. Any Central American country you visit is full of ancient temples and rich tradition.
Greece is another place that’s so replete with different travel destinations that it takes a luxury travel agent to help sort through them all. Ancient Greece was the birthplace of Western civilizations. The nation is filled with hundreds of archaeological sites and filled with museum collections that feature classical art. The best way to visit Greece is to take a tour of the islands. This makes it easy for you to enjoy phenomenal art and architecture alongside unforgettable Mediterranean cuisine and lively local culture.
Egypt is a bucket list destination for history buffs and travel lovers alike. You won’t want to miss the capital city, Cairo, where you’ll be able to take in the Museum of Antiquities and the breathtaking pyramids of Giza. But that’s just the beginning. In the south in the city of Luxor, known to the ancient world as Thebes, you can visit the tombs of the pharaohs in the Valley of Kings and explore the majestic temples of Karnak and Ramses the Great. To beat the heat, it’s best to visit in the fall from September to November, or the spring, from February to April.
Nestled in the Andean mountains, Machu Pichu, the secret ceremonial city of the Incans, captivates the landscape with its splendour. The Incan ruins are some of the most amazing sites on the planet, and there’s no substitute for seeing them in person. The best way to visit Peru is to take the 5-day Inca Trail and soak in these ancients sites during a scenic journey through the mountain landscape. To avoid both the crowds and the rain, plan to visit between April and October.
Italy is, by far, the best destination for the true culture lover. Florence and Venice are filled with spectacular Renaissance architecture. Rome is speckled with amazing monuments from the Roman Empire. Visit the Sorrento peninsula to view the ancient remains of Pompeii. Anywhere you go, you’ll find treasure troves of history and ambience, alongside some of the best cuisine on the planet. Any trip to Italy is a lesson in “la dolce vita”, the sweet life.
If you’d like to know more about unforgettable travel destinations, for culture, or fun, or family, or for whatever makes you love travel, feel free to contact us. Rose Bay knows travel, and we’d love to help you have the journey of a lifetime.