Alternative summer holiday destinations to excite and inspire

Panoramic cityscape view on Vienna city with Mariahilfer church towers on the sunset in Austria

Already daydreaming about your next getaway? These destinations are stark contrasts from one another – but all offer a dash of artistic flair that’s sure to refresh and inspire you.

Take a look, and start planning your most memorable trip yet…

1. Vienna, Austria
The Austrian capital is a brilliant choice for a long weekend, with its charming Gothic architecture and winding lanes akin to those in Paris. Particularly cool is knowing that great thinkers, artists and musicians, including Freud, Klimt and Mozart, once roamed its beautiful squares and lounged in the cafés that can still be found nestled on side streets near to the Universität Wien.

Make sure to visit: The colourful clamour of Hundertwasserhaus, the quirky apartment block designed by eccentric artist Friedrich Hundertwasser. Then grab a coffee and a slice of famous Viennese Sachertorte at the stunning Café Central, once frequented by Freud, Trotsky and Jung.

2. Helsinki, Finland
Helsinki is at the heart of Finland’s buzzing design scene, and boasts lots of interesting architectural sights, despite its somewhat rural location amid a plethora of forests. Aesthetically appealing boutiques, vintage stores and antique arcades line the streets. Concept store Tre is a creative hub, showcasing work by independent design studios.

Make sure to visit: a traditional Finnish sauna. Kulttuurisauna is a great choice – designed in 2012 by architect Tuomas Toivonen and illustrator Nene Tsuboi, it’s located in the brutalist district and is a great example of Helsinki’s minimalist and memorable design.

3. Kyoto, Japan
Kyoto is dubbed the City of Ten Thousand Shrines, which may sound like an exaggeration – but after a couple of hours strolling through its twinklingly mesmerising streets, you’ll see exactly why it got its nickname. There are around 1,600 temples in the city, along with the renowned landmarks like the Golden Pavilion of Kinkaju-ji. Leave your guide-book in the hotel – no matter where you wander, you won’t fail to be completely enchanted.

Make sure to visit: the Kyoto International Manga Museum. Nestled in downtown Kyoto, this is a must-visit for artists and cartoon-lovers alike. If you’re an avid Manga reader, you’ll be mesmerised by the 200m long bookcase which holds around 50,000 volumes of Manga from the last 50 years.

4. Istanbul, Turkey
Istanbul is the meeting point between two continents, which is reflected in its incredibly rich culture, architecture and art. This is where travellers can sip coffee outside a Roman Aqueduct just steps from the nearest mosque, constructed in the Ottoman era. Beneath the reminders of the country’s past is a smorgasbord of contemporary art, music and film.

Make sure to visit: Karaköy – Istanbul’s chicest neighbourhood. Cobbled streets are home to traditional craftsmen as well as up-and-coming cafes and contemporary galleries. According to the Blue Planet guide, Karaköy is “a microcosm of modern Istanbul.”

andmark travel destination in south africa

5. Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town wasn’t voted the World Design Capital in 2014 for nothing. The city, situated on the idyllic shores of Table Bay, is home to a thriving creative scene and such large-scale creative agencies as K&i and The Agency. With incredible views of the imposing Table Mountain and across the glistening bays, it’s difficult not to feel a wave of creative inspiration – don’t forget your paintbrush and pad!

Make sure to visit: the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa. For a truly memorable museum experience, take a wander around British designer Thomas Heatherwick’s recent creation, which he describes as “the world’s tubiest building”. It’s constructed in a former grain silo on Cape Town’s waterfront, and now is home to over 80 gallery spaces.


Posted by The Secret Businessman