Cultural experiences are among the key reasons many of us travel, and they are manifold, from performances to exhibitions to festivals. Here the topic is consumer-oriented cultural travel & tourism in all its forms.

Cover photo: Milin John

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Kenyan culture: a look at its traditional arts and crafts

For many, the first thing that comes to mind when it comes to Kenya is wildlife and safaris. But visitors should also keep in mind this country´s rich artistic and cultural heritage - thanks to its more than 70 ethnic groups such as the Kikuyu, Kamba, Luhya, Maasai, and Kalenjin  - both to witness (such as tribal dances) and to buy as mementos of their trip here (esecially masks, figurines, and other forms of sculpture). This beautiful country keeps the spirit of its ancestors alive through…

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Exploring Afro-Brazilian culture in Rio de Janeiro

Sarah BrownThough most famous for Carnival, golden beaches, and world-famous landmarks, the real heart of Rio de Janeiro, for those in the know, lies in its downtown, most notably in Saúde, Gamboa, and the surrounding neighbourhoods hard by the port. For it’s this area that’s steeped in a complex history that dates back half a millennium to the Portuguese colonisers’ founding of Rio and the centuries of brutal slavery which followed.A good place to start is Praça Mauá, a once rundown square…

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Culture in 'Capitals, Castles, and More on a Danube River Cruise'

  Grand Circle Travel “Now we’re heading toward Dürnstein, one of the loveliest towns in Austria,” the voice over loudspeaker of the M/V Adagio intoned. “Its buildings represent a number of architectural styles and so many artists have gathered at one spot to portray the magnificent surrounding landscape that it became known as the Painters’ Corner.” The fact is, though, that on the way to Dürnstein we sailed past lovely town after lovely town. As the vessel continued its journey on the…

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Cultural moments - some unexpected - on a tour of Sicily

Victor Block   It happens all the time with the tour operator Overseas Adventure Travel. I start out expecting to write about the trip itself – in this case, Sicily's Ancient Landscapes & Timeless Traditions"-- and I end up writing about all the things that aren't on the itinerary – what OAT refers to as "learning and discovery." Sure, I wanted to focus on the extensive ruins of the Greeks and Romans from the 8th century BCE; the city market initiated by the Arabs in 900 CE still operates…

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  • Recently the English-language version of Spain's top newspaper El País took a look at the Sefarad - the rich Jewish cultural heritage to experience in Spain:
    Synagogues, cemeteries, and settlements: Spain’s hidden Jewish heritage
    The expulsion of the Jews in 1492 buried homes and synagogues standing for more than a thousand years in the Iberian Peninsula
  • Yahoo! just a week ago took a look at the world's best spots for cultural tourism, and came up with a wopping 35 of what it calls the best. Do you agree? Which have you been to, and which are next on your list?
    35 Best Destinations in the World for Cultural Tourism
    In this piece, we will take a look at the 35 best destinations in the world for cultural tourism. For more cities, head on over to 5 Best Destination…
  • Yesterday was the 50th anniversary of Pablo Picasso's death, and throughout 2023 Spain is showcasing both sites associated with the painter as well as various exhibitions of his work. Here the UK's The Guardian lays it all out:
    Picasso pilgrimage: a Spanish art trail marking 50 years since his death
    From Málaga to Madrid, there’s a fiesta of special exhibitions this year in the places where the artist lived and worked
  • One of the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi, is often overshadowed by its neighbor Dubai. So I was interested to read this look in Britain's Telegraph at the five of the emirate's premier cultural draws:
    The five best cultural attractions to visit in Abu Dhabi
    Immerse yourself in Emirati history.
  • The Hindustan Times recently came out with a list of the world's top ten cultural landmarks, including several (I thought) unexpected choices. Agree with this list? Any that really should've been included that weren't?
    Google Year in Search 2022: Here are the top 10 cultural landmarks in the world
    Google Year in Search 2022: Google's Year In Search 2022 list is out. Check out the top 10 cultural landmarks that people across the globe searched f…
  • Leave it to California to progressive, "woke," whatever you want to call it, but I think this is a great idea: Visit California has just launched a marketing campaign called Visit Native California to promote cultural tourism around the state's 109 recognized tribes:
    New Visit Native California Program Encourages Travelers to Connect With State's Indigenous Cultures
    The new Native-led initiative seeks to showcase the rich cultures of the state’s 109 federally recognized tribes.
  • The Guardian recently ran a piece on ten European cities with exceptional street:
    ‘Brilliant and ever-changing’: readers’ favourite street art in Europe | Street art | The Guardian
    From Penge to Sardinia, exuberant street art makes neighbourhoods more vibrant and casts light on local history and culture – or just gives you a lau…
  • Just last week, the British travel-industry website TTG reported the results of a survey revealing among other things that more than two thirds of UK vacationers consider themselves "culture vultures" who prioritise having local cultural experiences when travelling abroad:
    Cultural experiences top consumer's travel wish lists
    Local experiences and off-the-beaten track destinations are top of travellers’ wish lists according to a new survey conducted by Audley Travel
  • The London-based travel-site recently came out with "The best cities in the world for art and culture in 2022", and while many of them you would totally expect, there are a few you totally wouldn't:
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