Culture and design shape the way we see the world, from the airplanes we board to explore the globe to the languages we encounter along the way. For many travelers, culture is why they plan trips and journey to new places.
It can mean anything from food and customs to religious beliefs and popular songs. Travel + Leisure pays close attention to the arts and to history, including architecture and local landmarks, theater and film, and music and books. Whether you are researching the latest museum exhibition to catch, or seeking a behind-the-scenes look at the architecture of an iconic monument—even hunting for the absolute perfect road-trip playlist to download, Travel + Leisure is here with the answers.
Catch a showing of Diwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (better known to its adherents as DDLJ) before you fly to Mumbai, where a local theater played the 1995 film for 20 straight years. Stand with the groundlings in the pit of the rebuilt Globe Theatre in London for a performance of one of Shakespeare’s most beloved plays. Pay tribute to Fela Kuti with a concert at Lagos’s New Afrika Shrine: a nightclub founded by the legendary Nigerian musician’s son, Femi (himself a bandleader, like both father and brother Seun). Explore the gothic beauty of the Cloisters, the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s medieval collection, at the northern edge of Manhattan. Walk China’s Great Wall. Tour the 2,500-year-old ruins of Persepolis.
There are so many different ways to experience the world, and art—or rather, the many aesthetic products of many world cultures—both tells a story about the people who made it and envelops its audience in a new story. It is perhaps the most profound way for human beings to reach across time and space for understanding. As Carl Sagan says of writing, these imaginative acts are “perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people, citizens of distant epochs, who never knew one another…proof that humans can work magic.”