See The World With A Cultural Eye: Destinations For The Heart And Mind

see the world

Do you consider yourself to be someone who enjoys a bit of culture? You don’t have to be going to the cinema every day or reading two books a week for that to be the case. You can be someone who knows their Targaryens from their Lannisters, or their dubstep from their alt-country. A lot of us would never consider ourselves culturally savvy, but yet pieces of culture dominate our lives.
A lot of what we do at leisure is firmly bedded in culture. Some people will proclaim they don’t read books, but watch Hollywood movies based on them. And when we are deciding where to go on holiday, a lot of the time we’re quietly informed by cultural aspects. Then again, some of us let our cultural side out without a problem. Some holiday destinations are made all the better by knowing a bit about culture.


Do you like your TV drama brooding? Ideally dark, and with an element of “my goodness, that backdrop is stunning”? Many of the shows currently exciting viewers in the English-speaking world are from the Nordic countries. Often they are remade, set in the US or the UK, but the general feel stays the same.

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The Oresund Bridge – setting for one of the most-talked about shows of recent years
“The Bridge,” set on the crossing between Sweden and Denmark, is one example. The atmospheric beauty of the area makes the show more compelling – and makes it a perfect destination.

New York

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The City That Never Sleeps – because there’s always something to watch.
If you’re in any way culturally inclined, New York will get you one way or the other. Maybe one of your favorite TV shows was based here. Do you like music? Chances are a favorite artist or band is from NYC. It’s also a safe bet that a film you enjoy was based on a Broadway musical. Want to see the next big thing? Pick up some tickets from or similar, and bathe in culture. Then look smug when the film comes out in five years.


Comedy is one of the art forms that has really exploded over the last few decades. We all like to laugh; it’s good for us and the stage comedians of today are often the big screen stars of tomorrow. And if you want to observe live comedy at its best, it’s worth an August trip to Edinburgh.


Edinburgh – a feast for the eyes and the funny bone

The Scottish capital is home to the Fringe Festival – where comedians who want to make it big come from all over the world. It doesn’t hurt that Edinburgh is beautiful. Laugh yourself silly – then do a spot of sight-seeing.


There are few cities in the world as iconic as Paris, and this is due in no small part to its cinematic history. A great number of American films of the last century were reboots of Paris classics such as “A Bout de Souffle.” Gene Kelly – a famed Francophile – made “An American in Paris” – but ironically didn’t get to go there for the filming.

gene kelley an american in paris

Gene Kelly: An American not in Paris at the moment

More recently, “Amelie” has captured hearts and launched the career of Audrey Tautou. Films, music, books or plays – any one of these can be enjoyed on a daily basis if you make your trip to Paris. And in years to come, you may look back on when you saw an enduring classic in a tiny arthouse cinema in France.


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