Let’s get spiritual: Four of the best cultural escapes in the world

Travelling offers you an insight into other cultures and the way in which others live. From art to architecture, religion to music, history to natural beauty and cuisine, certain destinations around the world offer visitors an awe-inspiring experience and insight into other cultures. From Rome to Paris, Kyoto to Africa, here are four of the best cultural escapes in the world.

Trevi Fountain Rome
It’s no secret Africa boasts some of the best safari opportunities in the world. It’s actually a huge part of the culture in the country – their wildlife is both beautiful and plentiful, with these retreats being cherished by tourists and locals alike for their serenity. Look out for holidays which offer you something a bit different – whether that’s a walking safari, tours which focus on the wider ecosystem or boat trips to get up close with the animals. There’s some great accommodation for your cultural escape. Huts and lodges are open for you to retreat to after a long day traversing the wild, offering an authentic insight into an Africa.

Giraffe Safari

Rome has a wealth of cultural value to be found within its glorious architecture and traditional values. The famed quote “do what the Romans do” couldn’t be more true when in the city, and you can start off by taking in the atmosphere at Piazza Navona, an example of Baroque Rome that feels frozen in time. And then there’s the iconic sights that you need to visit, too – the Vatican is perhaps the centre of it all, and although it’s likely to be busy with tourists, it doesn’t lose any of its magnificence. There’s the Sistine Chapel, St. Paul’s Basilica and the respective square where the Pope addresses the nation. Once you’re done sightseeing – and it could take you a while – make sure to try some authentic Roman food (I personally think its some of the best food in the world)!

The Vatican Rome

Tourists usually flock to the bright lights of Tokyo – an understandable decision, considering its vibrancy and popularity. But Kyoto offers a laidback alternative that is arguably more fascinating – its abundance of temples offer an Imperial getaway that will immerse you in traditional Japan. The Kiyomizu-dera Temple is arguably the most impressive of them all (reflected in the crowds of tourists that visit it everyday), founded in 780 and still standing majestically in the city’s eastern hills, yet it’s only a twenty-minute walk from the nearest train station. Buddhism is the primary religion in the country, and you’ll find many of these temples are still used as places of worship to this day. Kyoto’s centre isn’t any less tranquil, either. Cherry blossom trees line the streets adjacent to the Kamo River that runs through it; geisha appear in the shade of the evenings, and you’ll spot them navigating the small streets; and quirky marketplaces are where you’ll find the biggest crowds. Consider taking a step back and sitting in a café where you can try a cup of matcha, Kyoto’s coveted form of green tea, and watch the city peacefully continue its day.

Kyoto Japan

It’s a no-brainer – Paris truly is one of the best places in the world for a cultural getaway. Romance fills the air and flows through the arrondissements day in, day out; couples dine in small, low-key restaurants and look out at the city from the iconic Eiffel Tower; and a unique energy keeps the city alive during day and night. But that isn’t to say you need to be coupled up to truly enjoy Paris – it’s likely to steal your heart regardless. If you’re looking to find true Parisian culture, stay away from the famed landmarks and look to head deeper into its side streets. Place Dauphine is a small common area tucked away on an island in the middle of the Seine, where you’re able to grab a croissant and let the atmosphere wash over you.  Make sure to catch a concert here, too – music has played a huge part in Paris’ history, and so you’ll want to visit one of its prestigious traditional halls to catch a spot of live music here, surrounded by the glorious interior.

City of Paris

This post is brought to you in collaboration with Audley Travel.
Our opinions are as always, our own.