Lonely Planet's Culture Trails explores the world's most exciting cultural hubs – with Australia represented by Adelaide (Australia's Live Music City), Country Victoria (Ned Kelly's Bushranger Trail), the Northern Territory (Indigenous Art), and the gothic legacy of Tasmania.
From Copenhagen's Design Culture to Literary Cape Cod – via Artisanal Marrakesh and Medici Florence – Culture Trails is Lonely Planet's comprehensive guide to 52 weekends of culture heaven.
"When we travel," Lonely Planet says, "the cultures of the countries we visit are usually what we notice first, and it is often what inspires us to visit in the first place. The memories we take home with us may be of artisans hammering on the streets, historic architecture looming around a plaza, or music wafting from a back-alley doorway: culture exists everywhere, and it means everything to the curious traveller."
"We've scoured the globe to find the richest cultural enclaves," Lonely Planet explains, "where the arts have had a profound, lasting impact and local culture is being protected and nurtured; where old customs hold true, new ones are being forged, or the past is melding with the future in fascinating ways. The cultural spectrum is broad: literature, art, architecture, music, theatre, dance, festivals, TV, film, comics " you name it, it's in here."
In the tradition of Lonely Planet's best-selling Wine Trails (2015) and Food Trails (2016), this new book features itineraries that include expert recommendations, with maps and practical details of how to get there and where to stay across the following inspirational Culture Trails: Australia (Northern Territory, Country Victoria, Tasmania, Adelaide), Austria (Vienna), Belgium (Brussels), Brazil (Salvador), Bulgaria (West to East), Canada (Vancouver & British Columbia, Toronto & Ontario), Chile (Santiago & Valparaíso), China (Hong Kong, Beijing), Cuba (Havana), Denmark (Copenhagen), England (London, Oxford), Ethiopia (Northern Ethiopia), Finland (South to North), France (Paris, Dordogne, French Riviera), Greece (Athens), Hungary (Budapest), Iceland (Southwest Iceland), India (Mumbai, Rajasthan), Indonesia (Bali), Ireland (Dublin, West Ireland), Italy (Venice, Florence), Jamaica (Kingston), Japan (Tokyo, Naoshima Islands), Lebanon (Beirut), Mexico (Mexico City), Morocco (Marrakesh), New Zealand (North Island, South Island), Portugal (Lisbon), Romania (Transylvania), Scotland (Glasgow), Spain (Catalonia, Madrid, Seville), Taiwan (Taipei & around), and the USA (Los Angeles, Mississippi Delta & around, New York, Cape Cod, Washington, DC & around).
Lonely Planet's Culture Trails
Question: What inspired the Culture Trails release?
Chris Zeiher: People travel for a variety of reasons; holidays, visiting friends or relatives, attempting a digital detox. But what we find is consistent with most trips is that travellers always add in at least one experience that satisfies a personal interest. This was why we created our 'Trails' series of books where we've compiled amazing itineraries and ideas for travellers based on a theme or interest. Culture Trails is our third title in the series and follows on from the very successful Wine Trails and Food Trails. It's our most ambitious book in the series as the definition of 'culture' can be quite vague. Therefore we've attempted to make the content as broad as possible. You'll discover in the pages themed trails such as Tokyo's Pop Culture, Havana's Music Scene right through to Prehistoric Art of the Dordorgne or following in Viking Footsteps in the wilds of western Iceland.
Question: Can you share your favourite of the itineraries featured?
Chris Zeiher: I'm a Scandi-file and obsessed with all things Scandinavian. I'm so lucky to have been able travel to Scandinavia on multiple occasions so I'm immediately drawn to the Copenhagen Design Culture Trail. This trail is a fabulous compilation of where to discover contemporary architecture, furniture and fashion in Denmark's compact capital. I'm particularly excited by how the trail takes you into specific, less well trafficked, areas of Copenhagen such as Orestad, Christiania and Kadeau where the simplicity and functionality of Danish design to is brought to life.
Question: Why was it important for Lonely Planet to include the Aboriginal art in Australia's Northern Territory?
Chris Zeiher: One of the elements that's very important to a Lonely Planet traveller when on the road is having the ability to connect with the land and or people of a destination. This provides the traveller with a richer and more rewarding travel experience. The Aboriginal Art trail was one of the first trails we decided to include when assessing the Australian content. The creation stories of the Top End are some of the world's oldest narratives and demonstrate the very clear connection between our Indigenous owners and the land. And the landscape of the Northern Territory is so very dramatic and unique that once experienced it's not forgotten.
Question: Where else in Australia is featured?
Chris Zeiher: There's four Australian trails included in Culture Trails. Alongside the Aboriginal Art of the Northern Territory we have a trail that takes in the Gothic grandeur of Tasmania, one that delves into Victoria's infamous bushranger past and one that showcases Adelaide's robust live music scene. It's an eclectic, unexpected and inspirational selection.
Question: What's next for Lonely Planet?
Chris Zeiher: Lonely Planet prides itself on being on the cusp of travel trends; whether its naming new or hot destinations or uncovering themes or styles in which people are travelling. Next year is a real focus on food for us. We publish a series of food travel titles under the Lonely Planet Food imprint and have a dedicated food video channel on lonelyplanet.com - check out some of the mouth-watering footage here https://www.lonelyplanet.com/video/food-and-drink/v/cha/7. Food is such an important element for all travellers as can connect to destinations via their cuisine and the stories that are associated with local produce and dining. Lonely Planet Food allows travellers to discover the world's ultimate food experiences.
Interview by Brooke Hunter
Lonely Planet's Culture Trails