One of the best things when it comes to traveling is that you can absorb different cultures. For some people that aspect alone has a more significant value than sightseeing or having fun. Luckily, there are hundreds of locations that can provide precisely that. We live in a diverse world where there are many cultures. All you have to do is reach them and take them in. It may not sound as fun as parasailing on a beach in the Philippines, but there is more to traveling than tropical paradises and stunning views. Knowledge is just as important, and for some people, there is nothing more valuable. Below you will find a list of ten cities where culture is of the highest importance.
10. Jhang, Pakistan
The city of Jhang does not provide many tourist attractions, but you can still enjoy a few things. The most interesting attraction is the shrine of Sultan Bahu (or Bahoo,) a Sufi mystic, poet, and scholar. His shrine was originally built on his grave. However, it had to be moved twice because the Chenab River changed its course. Now it is a popular Sufi Shrine. If you plan ahead, you can visit the place during the Urs festival that commemorates Sultan Bahu’s death. The locals put much effort in the event, and it is an interesting thing to see. It will teach you many aspects of the region and the Sufis.
9. Chișinău, Moldova
Chișinău is a small country, but it does not lack culture. One of the first things you should visit while there is the Muzeul National de Etnografie si Istorie Naturala ( The National Museum of Ethnography and Natural History.) It is the oldest museum in Moldova, and the exhibits are amazing. There are zoological, archaeological, and ethnographic collections that are very interesting. The building itself is a piece of history. The Pushkin Museum is not very big. It is more of a memorial house for Pushkin. If you are a fan of his work, then you should see this place. The Museum of the City of Chișinău will teach you everything there is to know about the town. Make sure to hire a guide if you cannot read Romanian. If you want, you can climb the tower to see the entire city from above. It is worth the climb. The Moldova National Opera Ballet is something that people plan months in advance to see. The building is old but renovated, there are no comfortable seats, just regular, but the performances are among the best in the world. Everything from the orchestra to the dancers is world class. It might as well be the best ballet performance you see in your entire life.
8. Battambang, Cambodia
In Battambang, you get to experience the real life of the people there. The best thing you could do is go on a countryside tour. There are multiple such tours available. You are in for an unforgettable experience. The preferred means of transportation is the bike. The guide will take you in the villages around, and you will be able to experience the villagers’ daily life. You can help with their chores, you can eat amazing food, and the people are warm and welcoming. You can learn how the fishermen dry the fish, and you can also learn how to make dried bananas. It is not a skill in itself, but it surely is something interesting to see. Mrs. Bun Roeung’s Ancient House is another attraction you may enjoy. You can go on a tour of the house with one of the family’s members. You can learn about the history of the house before, during, and after the Khmer Rouge civil war. You can choose to stay there with the family, which is the best way to experience a foreign culture. The Battambang Provincial Museum is where you learn about the history of the city and of Cambodia in general. It is a small place, but you can see various artworks among which are very old statues.
7. Poltava, Ukraine
The first thing to visit in Poltava is the White Arbor. It is a gorgeous monument also known as the White Rotunda or White Gazebo. The best thing you could do is walk there. It is a long walk, but you have the opportunity to see churches, museums, restaurants and other attractions on the way there. You also come across the Poltava Dumplings Monument, which is treated more as a joke by tourists, but it is still an interesting thing to see. Once you reach the monument, the view is spectacular. The Poltava Regional Museum is another attraction worth visiting. The building itself is a beautiful piece of architecture. You can enjoy historical and natural displays, and the traditional artwork will leave a great impression. The artifacts concerning the Chernobyl disaster are the most interesting. If classic art is what you are looking for, the Poltava Art Museum is your best chance. The most popular attraction is a landscape painted by the famous painter Shishkin. There is modern art as well, but if you do not like it, do not go to the second floor.
6. Warsaw, Poland
Truth be told, nothing screams cultural landmark like Warsaw. There is much history in Poland, and most of the significant events happened in the last century. That being said, you will not get bored while you are there. You have plenty of landmarks to choose from. One of them would be Old Town. You can start a tour of the city with a long walk there. You will enjoy the colorful old buildings. It is not the original Old Town, which was destroyed in the war, but it was rebuilt in such a manner that it respects the original design. The Warsaw Uprising Museum is an excellent way to learn about Poland’s history. The museum is interactive, there are multi-media materials, and the guides are amazing. You should go there on business days to avoid the crowd. Otherwise, you may not enjoy the experience. There is a certain route you should take so you can understand everything from start to finish. Another museum that you should visit is the Polin Museum of the History of the Polish Jews. As you may well know, the Jews in Poland have a sad and tragic history, and the museum manages to expose it in a highly emotional manner.
5. Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
In many locations, the most culturally rich place is the town’s market. That is because it is there where you learn about the people’s lives, about what they need, interests and even arts. The same goes for the Village Artisanal de Ouagadougou. You can find anything there. There is pottery, statues, jewelry, rugs, wall rugs, and much more. It is a great place from where you can buy souvenirs. The people are warm and friendly. You can learn a lot about their ways of life. The Laongo Sculpture Symposium is a very interesting place as well. The place is filled with sculptures, just as the name suggests. Some of them are very old, while others are recent. Last but not least, the Grande Mosquee de Ouagadougou is an interesting attraction as well. What you should know is that Ouagadougou does not have many large buildings, which is why this one stands out.
4. Surabaya, Indonesia
In order to learn about the culture of Surabaya, you should join a tour. One of the most popular tours is the Authentic Java Tour. There is no other tour more captivating than that one. You get to visit the local market, Buddhist temples, a Muslim holy shrine, places that have a valuable significance for the Indonesians, especially those that were a part of the revolution. Not to mention that you get to see amazing architectural structures of the Dutch colonial period. Of course, you can go on a cultural experience all by yourself. The Sampoerna Museum provides a look into the Dutch architecture. Originally, the building was used as a headquarters for a cigarette making factory, but you do not have to worry about the smell. The place looks like a 5-star hotel. Everything is spotless. You can also see old cars, and if you like, there is a lovely coffee shop near the building. Other cultural attractions include the Masjid Nasional Al Akbar and Balai Pemuda.
3. Madurai, India
India is rich in history, but not everything is put on paper. In Madurai, you can take tours around the city and learn about the untold stories. The cultural tours are amazing there, and you can enjoy anything from sacred temples to simple streets full of history. One of the most popular tours is ‘Once upon a time in Madurai.’ It is an unforgettable experience. The Gandhi Museum is one of the main attractions in Madurai. The exhibits are wonderful, and you can learn many things about the time when the British occupied India, details about the independence movement, and the role of Gandhi in the said movement. There are a lot of details exposed, which makes the museum even more interesting. The Pazhamudhir Solai is a temple, but the artwork will impress you deeply. The design of the building is colorful and outstanding.
2. Quezon City, Philippines
You cannot go to Quezon City without visiting the Art in Island. It is one of the best art museums in the world. Charge you phone, camera, power bank, anything you have and arm yourself with creativity. The artwork allows you to put yourself in different poses, and the pictures come out amazing. It is fun for the entire family. Just make sure to take some pairs of socks with you because visitors are not allowed with their shoes on. Also, the best moment to visit the museum is on workdays. It is busy on weekends. The Mt. Carmel Shrine is another attraction you should see. It is a beautiful church with humble décor. You do not have to be a Christian to appreciate its value. The atmosphere is overwhelming, and you will have an unforgettable experience. Also, do not leave the city without seeing the Ateneo Art Gallery. It has beautiful paintings and sculptures inside, and you can also learn some history facts about Quezon City.
1. Marrakech, Morocco
The best way to enjoy Marrakech is on a private tour. There are several cultural tours available, and each of them provides an unforgettable experience. You get to ride camels, see the valleys surrounding the city, eat amazing food, and meet interesting people. Marrakech is on many people’s bucket list, and it is very easy to understand why. The city is amazing, and the cultural attractions are stunning. You can visit extraordinary places when you are on your own as well. For example, the Ben Youssef Madrasa is one of the most beautiful buildings in town. It is a university at the moment, but the art is mesmerizing. The place is quiet and relaxing, and chances are that you will hurt your neck looking up. The artisans did a wonderful job with the walls, which are not small by the way. The place is bigger than you think. While you are in Marrakesh, do not forget to visit the Photography Museum. The pictures are fantastic, and you have the option of buying some.
Learning about a foreign culture can make you a wiser person. You have a lot to learn about other people’s way of life. Going on a trip to gather memories and tales of other cultures can make you richer in human knowledge. The destinations above have the ability to provide that for you. The secret lies in knowing how to exploit them. As long as your desire to absorb other cultures is strong, your trips will be successful.