By Shabana Ansari
If you are an admirer of art, it is possible that you have already begun to save up for a trip to some exotic city in the world. Imagine yourself walking down the streets of a beautiful city surrounded by paintings, musicians, poets, dancers and other artists. Just sip a cup of coffee as you leisurely capture the essence of some of the oldest cafes in town or watch a play that you’ve have always wanted to see.
It doesn’t matter if you visit these cities alone. Each of these hidden cities has something to leave you inspired. And who knows? It might give a start to a new chapter in your life. These cities are not just meant to be captured in photos, but also in stories, poems, plays, music, memories, and moments in life.
Following is a list of 10 cities that every art lover should visit, take a look:
One of the main reasons I added this well-known city on the list was I personally thought that Manhattan was a lively city where people worked all day and partied like crazy in the night because it is situated in New York City. My misconception was put to a rest when I read a beautiful book called ‘Artists Way’ By Julia Cameron. She said “Artists toil in cells all over Manhattan. We have a monk’s devotion to our work—and, like monks, some of us will be visited by visions and others will toil out our days knowing glory only at a distance, kneeling in the chapel but never receiving the visitation of a Tony, an Oscar, a National Book Award. And yet the still, small voice may speak as loud in us as in any.” These were the lines, which made me think “I WANT TO VISIT THIS CITY”
It took quite a time for the city to evolve as one of the favourites of art lovers. It is famous for its neighborhood galleries where you can see all good, bad, moderate and exceptional artwork by local and International artists growing every passing day. The city is also is known for it’s after hour clubs where artists with same interest gather and live their art together. With more than 150 Art galleries you will find yourself wandering in the cultural streets of shopping markets and buildings of the 19th century. You might end up having a Sunday brunch with artists living in the city because of its friendly environment, which will fill your pockets with stories to share with everyone.
Egypt is as exciting as its name. Egyptian beauty, Egyptian deserts, Egyptian Camels, Egyptian, the Pyramids, and the Mummies! Well, you don’t have to worry about them, as they don’t have one alive. Cairo, Capital of Egypt, situated near the Nile River has a number of art galleries in the city, which exhibits various modern and contemporary arts. The city has something special to offer which other cities and the world might not give you such as the Royal Mummies and gilded King Tutankhamun artifacts in Vast Egyptian museums. The city has its own dance form and talented traditional singers organizing shows on weekdays and weekends. Also, its own art festival showcases various art forms with screenings of Egyptian movies and much more.
To be honest, after watching Turkish shows, I developed an admiration for the city. As I Googled it out of curiosity, I realized the city is known for its art galleries, contemporary art fairs, and plays. If not that, the exotic cultural monuments are something that would inspire even an engineer to write poetry on chemical formulas. The museums, domes and sea side cafes and restaurants will make you want to live there forever in tranquility and never return. There is also an underwater hotel where you can experience living in beautiful underwaters of the city.
The city is mainly known for its music. You can hear it everywhere in the city. If you can feel it, music is in the air, my friend. Salzburg in every sense is a musical heritage of the world. The city hosts Mozart week, an honorary concert in the memory of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Great composer of the Classical era) and opera festival, every January. The annual Salzburg festival also brings theater from Shakespeare to Beckett and music to the city each summer.
This Hungarian capital is home to art since centuries. The country’s National Art Gallery features medieval and Renaissance carving from the 11th century. Not only this, you can find yourself in the middle of various art genres from every period. The city is also well known for its street arts and graffitis in some districts where you can take a walk through all the stunning paintings. Mupa Budapest is a cultural event in the city, which includes music, arts, dance, circus and dramas of all genres. Compared to other cities, this one is filled with arts such as the Festival of Folk Arts, Budapest Art Factory, and Café Budapest Contemporary Art Fest, Budapest Hall of Arts with so much of art that it would leave you in complete awe.
Kyoto is a combination of art and technology. Not only will you find unexpected art talents of Japan but you will also get to witness the FastTrack technology of Japan such as the high- speed rail and others. That would give you an awe inspiring experience to take back. In Kyoto, you can find Japanese art and culture in Japanese streets and art galleries spread across the city which includes traditional Japanese arts, Fuji arts, and tranquil open-air collections of heritage houses, woodblock prints, and religious arts crafts. You get a rare opportunity to visit Zen temples and gardens with unforeseen autumn colors such as red and golden. Kyoto also has its very own tea ceremony and you can also be a part of its woodblock printing and flower arrangement sessions. Witness the Kabuki and Geisha performance live and take an unforgettable memory back home with you.
Kutch is by far, one of the most beautiful cities not only in India but all over the world which delivers its own unique experience. It is a white salt desert which proves to be a treat to anyone’s eyes visiting the place. People go camping there just to live the traditional art and culture of the city which also gives you the chance to witness once in a lifetime star gazing experience in the desert. What makes this experience unique is that it provides you with the view of the maximum number of brightly shining stars lit up in the sky. All you need to do is, just lie down beneath the star filled sky and lose yourself in the galaxy of bright and happy thoughts. The Rann of Kutch Utsav is held during December- February where you can find camps organizing cultural programs, arts, and adventure games. You should also pay a visit to wildlife flaming and wild ass sanctuary. Kutch is famous for its very fine embroidery and crafts work crafted by the local women of the city. The beautiful beaches of Mandvi are something that shouldn’t be missed. And guess what, as the city lies on India-Pakistan borders, you can also see glimpses of Pakistan from the city.
Corsica, Island in the Mediterranean Sea
Haven’t you always wanted to escape to an Island with beautiful people, landscape, and arts? Before the movie Tamasha ended, I was already in love with this city. One, the streets and colorful buildings were enough to make any artist fall for the city. Two, the city has much more in store for art lovers. The city has various art galleries and monuments influenced by Baroque art traced back in 17th and the 18th century. The Fesch Museums also provide diverse Italian art to admire, The National Institution FRAC (FRAC) organizes shows of various artists regularly since 1960 with a vast number of collections. The colorful landscapes and sunset of the city have made it an inspirational home for various artists around the world such as Matisse himself who lived in Ajaccio in 1898 where he declared, “I was dazzled there. Everything sparkles, everything is color and light” – he would have painted about fifty paintings during his stay, including much of the Corsican landscape and sunsets. After all this, enjoy a few art work, music, cultural dance and step into a local cafe for some heavenly food and watch the colorful sunset of the city to ensure a memorable closure to the day.
This city is different, it has surprising arts everywhere around. Museums and art galleries are something you will find even here just like everywhere in any other cultural city. What makes it different is that you may never know while walking through a street or entering a pub or restaurant you find yourself in the art itself. Pallazo Pitti itself has a variety of museums inside it the Silver Museum, Modern Arts, Royal Apartments, Costume Arts and much more. Artsy eats is a place for authors, poets, and musicians. In fact, Italian cooking itself is a form of art. There is also an art bar which provides you with artist cocktails. There are restaurants where you can dine inside artsy style of setting where you might feel like you have just entered the painting. Even if you haven’t entered into a restaurant like this, every bar and café provide a setting where you feel as if you have entered into a classic novel or a painting of 17th or 19th century. Told you it is different than the rest.
London, United Kingdom
London Bridge is falling down, falling down. London Eye goes round and round, round and round. You must have heard about this city since you were a toddler. London, even though developed its traditional architecture of the city remains untouched. There is something about London streets, buses, cafes, telephone booths, markets which inspire the art lover in you. Again, there are fascinating lights of London Eye. Photographers capture every corner of the city. Apart from all this, London is home for many classical plays – of course, the very famous plays from Shakespeare.
These were the 10 cities I picked out, which an art lover would love to visit. This isn’t a top 10 article. It would be unfair to put something like an art in a box with limited space, to be honest, art can be found in every corner of the world and I mentioned just a few. There’s a lot more to explore. After all, not all those who wander are lost; they found themselves while wandering in such captivating cities.
Written by: Shabana Ansari, 1st Year Student at MA in Media & Communication, Department of Extension Education, SNDT Women’s University.