As Plato once said: “Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything”. Or as Timbaland and Miley Cyrus put it: “Hey! Hey! We belong to the music”. However you look at it, music is a universal joy!
From serious musos with a much-loved vinyl collection, to those who enjoy bopping along to the latest hits on the radio, learning about music while travelling is a wonderful way to access the culture of your host destination.
If you fancy delving deeper into the sounds that are related to specific places, here are the Flexicover team’s top destinations for music lovers.
Vienna, Austria There must be something in the water in Vienna. More famous composers – like Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert and Strauss - have lived in this magnificent city than anywhere else in the world. And the Austrian capital, the city from which operettas and waltzes sprung, does not hold back when it comes to celebrating its classical music legacy. No matter when you visit, you’re likely to stumble across a vibrant music festival. And every day the city’s opulent concert halls host international classical and opera stars. Make it a mission to see the Vienna Philharmonic, one of the world’s best orchestras – and don’t forget to round off a musical trip with a slice of opera cake.
Havana, Cuba While Vienna’s classical legacy can be seen in its magnificent concert halls, the musical heritage of Havana spills out from its vibrant clubs and bars and pastel-hued Old Town houses. Get tickets to watch Buena Vista Social Club, a famous Cuban ensemble that play pre-revolutionary music, or enjoy a mojito as a live band plays at La Bodeguita del Medio, a favourite of Ernest Hemingway’s. But music in Cuba isn’t just about listening - it’s about dancing too. It’s said that Cubans created some of the best-known Latin musical styles such as son (a precursor to salsa), mambo, cha cha cha, bolera, Latin jazz, timba, guaguanco, and more. So head to its many bars and clubs, like Casa de la Musica, to salsa the night away.
There are a number of incredible musical destinations in the US, from Seattle, the grunge capital of the world, to Memphis, once home to the one and only Elvis Presley. But it’s Nashville, which celebrates the all-American genre of country music, which is truly unmissable. Often dubbed Music City, iconic country venues include the Grand Ole Opry House and The Bluebird Cafe, where up-and-coming singers take to the stage. Other musical highlights include the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, the Johnny Cash Museum, and The District: a bustling, neon-lit area boasting plenty of honky-tonk bars with live music. Dig out your cowboy boots and pay it a visit.
Trinidad and Tobago Music is a huge part of Caribbean culture, and a number of genres springing from the Caribbean have their roots in Trinidad and Tobago. Soca - an addictive combination of calypso, funk, and soul - was born here. Steelpan was also invented in the dual-island nation, and it’s ubiquitous across the island. Other less well-known genres that originated here include Indian-inspired Chutney and the Venezuelan-influenced folk known as Parang. Visiting in February? You’re in for an unforgettable experience as this is when the nation’s renowned carnival takes to the street, with endless vibrant music and sensational costumes. But if not, don’t despair - live music is never far away in Trinidad and Tobago.
Berlin, Germany Berlin’s ultra-hip music scene is not for everyone, but for music fans with the stamina to stay up all night - and then the night after that - it’s heaven. It’s not all EDM either. Head to Hoe__Mies for an inclusive mix of R&B, reggaeton, and trap, or find the travelling showcase Weeeirdos for danceable tunes. Meanwhile Room 4 Resistance features a broad swathe of tunes ranging from 80s glam rock to industrial techno. The truly brave should try to get past the famously picky bouncers at Berghain for an edgy night of techno and experimental club music.
Wherever you plan on heading to over the coming months it’s good to know that Flexicover is committed to providing you with the highest level of protection to ensure you are safe and secure 24 hours a day when away.