European Roads Less Traveled for Student Performance Tours

Jun 23, 2015

Travel Notes

Europe offers an array of experiences and performance venues that can’t be found stateside. Combined with the strengthening U.S. Dollar, now is the perfect time to plan a performance tour across the pond. Our previous blog post featured some of our favorite “mainstream” European performance destinations. This week, we look at five European performance destinations you may not have considered until now.

Prague

The capitol of the Czech Republic and Bohemia is also one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. After your arrival, start with a leisurely stroll through old town, where you’ll discover the famous Astronomical Clock (the oldest functioning clock of its kind). Fill up on some hearty (and delicious) Czech food before a walk across the Charles Bridge (one of TripAdvisor’s top 25 world landmarks) and up to Prague Castle. The castle serves as the current home of the Czech Republic’s president, and holds the distinction of being the largest ancient castle in the world. With so much to see and do, don’t forget about your group’s performance. Memorable venues abound throughout Prague and the Czech countryside, including Churches, parks, and the occasional Chateau. It’s an old world fairytale city you won’t want to leave!

Budapest

A five hour drive from Prague, Budapest has seen a tourism boom of late, and for good reason. The Hungarian Parliament is easily one of the most beautiful buildings in the world, both inside and out. You’ll have to tear yourself away from the building to experience everything else Budapest has to offer. Continue with a walk across the Chain Bridge (the first permanent bridge to connect Buda and Pest) and a journey on the funicular train up to Buda Castle. Save plenty of time to experience everything in the Castle District, including the Fisherman’s Bastion and Matthias Church. Later, make your way back down the hill, and discover why Budapest has earned the nickname “Queen of the Danube” with a cruise along the river. With over 45 theatres and concert halls, along with numerous churches and cathedrals, there is no lack of performance venues in Budapest. A group favorite is the Church of St. Anne, a quaint but impressive church.

Spain

With so much amazing food, culture, and history, there are few counties as vibrant and diverse as España. Start your journey in the Spanish Capitol of Madrid, home of the Palacio Real (Royal Palace) and world class art museums such as the Prado and Thyssen-Bornemisza. If you are looking for a little Spanish culture, experience a bullfight at the Plaza de Toros or cheer Real Madrid to victory at the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu. Then in the evening, dine on Spanish Tapas while watching authentic Flamenco dancers. Cap off your evening with traditional chocolate con churros from Chocolatería San Ginés. The Plaza Mayor, Madrid’s main square, has become a favorite venue for outdoor performances among its many shops and outdoor cafes. Furthermore, depending on your group’s needs and preferences, there remain numerous other performance venues throughout Madrid (and España) including churches, parks, and plazas.

Depart Madrid and travel to Barcelona by motor coach or high speed train. Once in town, start with a visit to the ever-changing Basilica de la Sagrada Familia. Designed by Antoni Gaudi (whose work you will see throughout the city), construction began in 1883 and currently is expected to be completed in 2026. Your group can perform at Barcelona’s Park Güell, a public park designed by Gaudi, and current UNESCO World Heritage site. Walks through the Gothic Quarter and along the Mediterranean are a perfect way to take in the culture and cap off your visit to the Catalonian capital.

Benelux Countries (Belgium, Netherlands, and Luxembourg)

Broaden your cultural horizons with a visit to the Benelux countries. Start with a day to explore historic Luxemburg City before continuing to one of the sweetest countries in Europe, Belgium. Brussels serves as the capital of Belgium and the European Union, and is also the headquarters of NATO. Swing by the opulent Grand Palace (where your group can perform) and Musical Instruments Museum (home to over 8,000 musical instruments) between stops at chocolate shops. Before leaving Belgium, don’t miss the opportunity to visit and perform in Bruges, known as the “Venice of the north” thanks to its extensive canal system.

Finish your journey in the Netherlands, and one of Europe’s most picturesque cities, Amsterdam. Polish off your wooden clogs, and hop on a tram (or the more traditional bicycle) to see the city’s most famous landmarks including the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum, and the Anne Frank House. Later, trade your wheels for a canal boat to see the city from a different perspective. Be on the lookout for windmills and tulips!

Latvia

History and culture abound in Latvia. The capital, Riga, was named the EU’s European Capital of Culture in 2014. Start your stay in Riga with a walk through the old city. Mixed in with its old world charm, you’ll find museums, galleries, cafes, and shops. The history buffs in your group will be enthralled by Riga’s WWII and Cold War history as well. When performance time rolls around, your choir can fill the rafters of St. Peter’s Church and St. Mary’s Cathedral. Other groups can perform in the equally impressive Great Hall of the University of Latvia. Finish your visit to Lativa with a relaxing day at one of Europe’s top rated beaches, Jurmala, only a 40 minute drive from Riga.

To learn more, or to start booking your group’s European tour, contact our international team today!

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