The best part of a holiday is immersing yourself in local cultures, visiting ancient historical sights and getting lost in a different world from our own. To help plan your next escape, we’ve found five of our favourite places to visit on a cultural holiday, and some enlightening activities to try whilst you’re there.
Revolutionary Rambling in the USA
Colony clubs, redcoats and revolution. From Native Americans to American Independence, there’s a plethora of treasures to discover on a cultural holiday to the States. Let’s firstly focus on Boston; staying at Omni Parker House places you on the popular Freedom Trail, a 2.5-mile free walking tour leading through 16 historical highlights. Explore museums meeting-houses, churches, and burying grounds, and discover the history of the American Revolution as it began. The USA isn’t just about the mainland though: across the Pacific in Hawaii, a cultural holiday to The Royal Hawaiian – a Luxury Collection Resort gives you an opportunity to visit the Polynesian Cultural Centre Luau, where you’ll learn the ancient Polynesian traditions and customs. Watch demonstrations, or participate in them; learn the ukulele, or take spear throwing lessons, Hawaii has enlightening activities for everybody.
All that Glitters – the Far East’s Golden Triangle Tour
There’s few other places peppered with so many ancient sights and historical temples: Vietnam and Cambodia are home to breathtakingly impressive feats of architecture. The best way to see them is with a 15-day tour through both countries, where you can discover the Far East’s wonders off the beaten track. Visit Hanoi, Ha Long Bay, Hoi An, Hue and Saigon, and witness the spectacular Angkor Wat on a Cambodian holiday. To sample local culture without having to move around, a great place to start is the Anantara Golden Triangle resort. Mingle with elephants, enjoy the scenery and explore the jungles where the borders of Thailand, Burma and Laos meet.
Explore Temples, Forts and Mosques in Abu Dhabi
A cultural holiday to the Ritz Carlton in Abu Dhabi places you next to the oldest stone building in the city. The white fort has stood for centuries, with some elements of the building dating back to 1761. Wake up in a luxury room and gaze out towards views of Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. Don’t forget to pay a visit to Abu Dhabi’s symbolic birthplace, Qasr al Hosn. This is the UAE’s first permanent structure, and once home to the ruling Al Nahyan family. The Qasr al Hosn Centre is free to enter, and tells the story of Abu Dhabi and its people which is a fascinating experience. Across the border in Oman is another host of wonderful historical and cultural sites to visit. Make sure to pay tribute to the four historical forts at the foot of the Djebel Akhdar highlands. Al-Rustaq, Nizwa Fort, Izki Fort and Bahla Fort.
A Cultural Cuppa in Old Ceylon
Visiting the islands of Indian Ocean is like walking through a dream. It’s no wonder a holiday to Sri Lanka is popular with romantic couples and honeymooners. Alongside romance, Sri Lanka is arguably the best Indian Ocean destination for a cultural holiday, especially with the unbelievable temples and monuments scattered around the island. From a rock cave temple to a dominating fortress carved into the cliff side, to SeyTe Tea Factory and Victoria market. This dreamlike setting is perfect for getting lost in mysterious cultures so distant from the cloudy British shores.
Wandering Winding European Streets
From Barcelona to the Balkans, a holiday to Europe takes you to the beating heart of historical landmarks. You’ll have heard of the famous sights already, so why not visit some of Europe’s under-appreciated gems which are just as beautiful, but without the crowds. That’s where a cultural holiday to Regent Porto Montenegro comes in. Here, you can stay amid a Podgorcia Old Turkish Town called Stara Varos, explore the winding alleyways, mosques, and clock towers, then visit Montenegro for unbeatable classical architecture, scenery, rivers, coasts and mountains. For something a little busier, there’s few better places to experience a world of culture than Barcelona at W Barcelona. This city’s architectural treasures span over two millenniums, with towering temple columns, ancient city walls and subterranean stone corridors. Visit Gaudi’s childhood home, then marvel at the bubbling, twisting, melting buildings that he designed.