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10 Best Cultural Events around the World

"The festival is a celebration of our collective humanity."

Immersing oneself in the vibrant tapestry of global culture is an unparalleled experience, and what better way to do so than by attending some of the world's most captivating festivals and events? From the colorful streets of Rio de Janeiro to the tranquil shores of Lake Como, cultural festivals and events offer a window into the heart and soul of diverse communities around the globe. These celebrations of tradition, heritage, and creativity bring people together in joyous harmony through music, dance, art, and cuisine. Whether it's the raucous revelry of Mardi Gras in New Orleans, the vibrant, colorful spectacle of Holi in India, or the dangerous thrill of the running of the Bulls in Spain, each event offers a unique glimpse into the cultural mosaic of our world, fostering connection, understanding, and appreciation across borders and generations.

Gion Matsuri – Kyoto, Japan

The Gion Matsuri, or Gion Festival, is one of Japan's most famous and iconic annual festivals, held in Kyoto during the month of July. It's a month-long celebration, but the main events take place on July 17th, known as Yoiyama, and July 24th, known as Yamaboko Junko.

The festival originated over a thousand years ago as a religious purification ritual to appease the gods during a series of natural disasters, including plague and famine. Today, it has evolved into a grand celebration of Japanese culture, tradition, and community spirit.

Yoiyama, which translates to "eve of the festival," kicks off the festivities with lively street parties and lantern displays throughout the Gion district and surrounding areas. The streets are lined with food stalls, traditional performances, and cultural exhibits, creating a festive atmosphere that draws locals and tourists alike.

The highlight of the Gion Matsuri is the Yamaboko Junko, or float procession. Magnificent floats, called yamaboko, adorned with intricate tapestries, textiles, and decorations, are paraded through the streets of Kyoto by teams of men dressed in traditional attire. The floats are massive, some towering over 25 meters tall and weighing several tons, requiring careful coordination and teamwork to navigate through the narrow streets. The procession is a mesmerizing spectacle that captures the essence of Japanese culture and history, with roots dating back centuries.

The Gion Matsuri is not only a celebration of tradition and heritage but also a time for prayer, reflection, and unity. It brings together people from all walks of life to honor the past, embrace the present, and look forward to the future with hope and optimism. If you have the opportunity to experience the Gion Matsuri in Kyoto, it's sure to be an unforgettable and enriching cultural experience.

When to go: July

Where to stay:

Mercure Kyoto Station

4-Star Hotel

With 1200 years of history, Kyoto is known as Japan's best city for culture and tradition. "Pastimes of Heian nobility"-inspired the motif and interior designs of the hotel.


5-Star Hotel

Bringing the concept of the ryokan elegantly up to date is Sowaka Kyoto- a serene haven in the ancient heart of Japan. Fusing time honored design elements with real creature comforts- the hotel is the perfect place to escape to after a day of exploring Kyoto. Artfully arranged around courtyards and trickling fountains, the suites and bedrooms feature minimalist furnishings with luxurious touches. Here, you can sleep on a cashmere mattress, soak in a warm cypress bath, and open sliding doors to reveal your private garden or balcony. Start your day with a Japanese or Western take on breakfast. Then get a bespoke glimpse of Japanese culture on private tours of ancient temples. Stroll through the atmospheric alleyways of the city at dusk, perhaps spotting a kimono clad geiko or maiko hurrying to their evening appointments. When night falls, Michelin starred La Bombance Gion is the hottest table in town. The dark elegance of the restaurant sets the stage for masterful dishes that put a modern spin on Kyoto traditions. Sowaka Kyoto is a Small Luxury Hotels of the World property.

Things to do in Kyoto (for more on festival and events, please visit Gion Matsuri Festival | Kyoto City Official Travel Guide):

  • Visit Kyoto's Historic Temples and Shrines: Kyoto is home to numerous UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion), Ginkaku-ji (Silver Pavilion), Kiyomizu-dera, Fushimi Inari Taisha, and the iconic Kamo Shrines. Explore these beautiful temples and shrines to experience Japan's rich religious and architectural heritage.

  • Stroll Through the Historic Districts: Wander through Kyoto's charming historic districts, such as Gion, Higashiyama, and Arashiyama. Explore narrow streets lined with traditional wooden houses, tea houses, and shops selling local crafts and souvenirs.

  • Experience a Traditional Tea Ceremony: Participate in a traditional Japanese tea ceremony, known as chanoyu or chado, to learn about the art and etiquette of tea preparation and consumption. Many tea houses in Kyoto offer tea ceremony experiences for visitors.

  • Enjoy Kyoto's Culinary Delights: Kyoto is renowned for its delicious cuisine, including kaiseki (traditional multi-course meals), tofu dishes, obanzai (Kyoto-style home cooking), and matcha sweets. Sample these culinary delights at local restaurants, izakayas, and street food stalls.

  • Explore Kyoto's Bamboo Forest: Visit the iconic Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, where towering bamboo stalks create a serene and atmospheric setting. Take a leisurely walk or bike ride through the bamboo forest and enjoy the tranquility of nature.

  • Admire Cherry Blossoms and Fall Foliage: Depending on the season of your visit, admire the cherry blossoms in spring or the vibrant fall foliage in autumn. Popular spots for hanami (cherry blossom viewing) include Maruyama Park, Philosopher's Path, and the Imperial Palace Park.

  • Take a River Cruise: Enjoy a scenic boat ride along the Kamo River, which runs through the heart of Kyoto. Admire the city's historic bridges, traditional machiya houses, and riverside restaurants as you cruise along the tranquil waters.

  • Visit Kyoto's Museums and Galleries: Explore Kyoto's rich cultural heritage at its museums and galleries, such as the Kyoto National Museum, Kyoto International Manga Museum, and the Kyoto Museum of Traditional Crafts.

  • Attend a Traditional Performance: Experience the beauty and elegance of traditional Japanese arts by attending a kabuki, Noh, or bunraku performance. Many theaters in Kyoto offer regular performances throughout the year.

  • Take a Day Trip: Explore the surrounding areas of Kyoto on a day trip to nearby attractions such as Nara (home to Todai-ji Temple and friendly deer), Osaka (known for its vibrant food scene and Osaka Castle), or the scenic countryside of rural Kyoto Prefecture.

Day of the Dead Parade, Mexico City, Mexico

The Day of the Dead Parade in Mexico City was first introduced in 2016 and has since become an annual event, drawing crowds of locals and tourists alike to witness the colorful spectacle. The parade typically takes place on October 31st, though the dates may vary slightly each year. It begins at the Angel of Independence monument on Paseo de la Reforma and continues along a designated route through the city center, culminating in the Zócalo, Mexico City's main square.

Participants in the parade include elaborately costumed dancers, performers, musicians, and giant skeleton puppets known as "calacas." Floats adorned with marigolds, papel picado (colorful cut-paper decorations), and other traditional Day of the Dead motifs add to the festive atmosphere.

The parade celebrates the Mexican tradition of honoring deceased loved ones during the Day of the Dead festivities, known as Día de los Muertos. Families create elaborate altars, or ofrendas, adorned with photos, candles, flowers, and offerings of food and drink to remember and honor their ancestors.

The Day of the Dead Parade in Mexico City has become a popular cultural event that showcases the rich traditions and customs associated with this ancient holiday. It offers visitors a unique opportunity to experience the vibrant colors, music, and symbolism of Day of the Dead in a lively and festive atmosphere.

When to go: November 1 and 2, 2024

Where to stay:

Campos Polanco

4-Star Hotel

Step into the vibrant community of Polanco the cultural epicenter of Mexico City with access to the best the city has to offer. At Campos you'll experience true hospitality with a local residential vibe. Soak up the eclectic charm of Campos and enjoy the convenience of our boutique services and unique spaces.

Four Seasons Hotel Mexico City

5-Star Hotel

The Four Seasons Hotel Mexico is a quiet oasis on the Paseo de la Reforma near Chapultepec Park, the National Museum of Anthropology and leading business, shopping, and residential areas. The hotel is the city's only AAA 5 Diamond hotel for the 17th consecutive year. Guest rooms are elegantly decorated with comfortable seating, executive work desks, LED televisions, and wireless high speed internet access. All feature oversized marble bathroom with a deep soaking tub, separate shower and WC. The hotel is arranged around a tranquil garden courtyard and offers a restaurant serving contemporary Latin Grill cuisine, a fully staffed health and fitness club, and an outdoor pool.

What to do in Mexico City (for more on festival and events, please visit Day of the Dead 2024 - all the information and the program (

  • Explore Historic Landmarks: Visit iconic landmarks such as the Zócalo (main square), the Metropolitan Cathedral, and the National Palace. Explore the ancient ruins of Templo Mayor, an Aztec archaeological site located in the heart of the city.

  • Visit Museums and Art Galleries: Mexico City is home to world-class museums and art galleries, including the National Museum of Anthropology, the Frida Kahlo Museum (Casa Azul), the Palacio de Bellas Artes, and the Museo Soumaya.

  • Experience Mexican Cuisine: Indulge in delicious Mexican cuisine at traditional markets, street food stalls, and upscale restaurants. Don't miss the opportunity to try local specialties such as tacos, tamales, mole, and chilaquiles.

  • Explore Colorful Neighborhoods: Wander through vibrant neighborhoods such as Coyoacán, known for its bohemian atmosphere and historic architecture, and Roma and Condesa, renowned for their trendy cafes, restaurants, and street art.

  • Attend Cultural Events: Check out cultural events and festivals happening throughout the city, such as the Day of the Dead Parade, the International Cervantino Festival, and the Vive Latino music festival.

  • Take a Day Trip: Explore nearby attractions such as the ancient city of Teotihuacán, famous for its towering pyramids, and the picturesque town of Xochimilco, known for its floating gardens and colorful trajineras (traditional boats).

  • Enjoy Urban Parks: Spend time outdoors in Mexico City's urban parks, such as Chapultepec Park, one of the largest city parks in the world, and Bosque de Tlalpan, a tranquil nature reserve located in the southern part of the city.

  • Shop for Artisan Crafts: Browse for artisan crafts and souvenirs at traditional markets such as Mercado de la Ciudadela, Mercado de San Juan, and Mercado de Coyoacán, where you can find a wide range of handmade textiles, pottery, and jewelry.

  • Experience Lucha Libre: Attend a lucha libre (Mexican wrestling) match for a fun and unique cultural experience. Watch masked wrestlers perform acrobatic moves and high-flying maneuvers in a lively and entertaining atmosphere.

  • Sample Mezcal and Tequila: Learn about Mexico's famous spirits by visiting mezcal and tequila bars, where you can sample a variety of artisanal mezcals and tequilas from different regions of the country.

Chinese New Year - Hong Kong, China

Celebrating Chinese New Year in Hong Kong is a vibrant and festive experience, with the city coming alive with colorful decorations, lively parades, and traditional rituals. The festivities start with fireworks over Victoria Harbour, illuminating the sky with bursts of color and light. The fireworks are one of the most anticipated events of the holiday, drawing crowds of spectators to the waterfront to ring in the new year with joy and excitement. The Chinese New Year Night Parade is also a highlight of the festivities, featuring colorful floats, traditional lion and dragon dances, marching bands, and cultural performances. The parade winds its way through the streets of Tsim Sha Tsui, captivating audiences with its vibrant energy and festive atmosphere. Leading up to Chinese New Year, the streets of Hong Kong are adorned with festive decorations, including red lanterns, auspicious symbols, and traditional paper cutouts. Shopping malls, hotels, and public spaces are illuminated with festive lights, creating a cheerful and vibrant atmosphere throughout the city.

When to go: January 28-31, 2025

Where to stay:

Pullman Park Lane

4-Star Hotel

The Park Lane Hong Kong was opened in 1974, the hotel located in the heart of Causeway Bay, one of Hong Kong's most vibrant neighborhoods. With its prime location on Hong Kong Island, the hotel offers easy access to the city's best shopping, dining, and entertainment destinations. The hotel boasts elegant and spacious guest rooms and suites, each designed with comfort and style in mind. Guests can enjoy a range of amenities, including a fitness center, executive lounge and multiple dining options. Whether you're traveling for business or leisure, The Park Lane Hong Kong, a Pullman Hotel is the perfect destination for an unforgettable stay in Hong Kong.

Grand Hyatt Hong Kong

5-Star Hotel

Situated on Hong Kong Island facing the world-famous Victoria Harbour, Grand Hyatt Hong Kong redefines hotel luxury and offers facilities and amenities to meet your every need. Unwind in one of the 542 spacious guestrooms or suites, designed to blend traditional and modern aesthetics in an elegant, residential style. Experience some of the best hotel restaurants in Hong Kong, Grand Hyatt Hong Kong features eleven world-class restaurants and bars offering a fabulous range of cuisines including Chinese, Italian, Japanese and international fare, in the heart of the Hong Kong Island.

  • Spectacular Fireworks: Hong Kong's Chinese New Year celebrations kick off with dazzling fireworks displays over Victoria Harbour, illuminating the sky with bursts of color and light. The fireworks are one of the most anticipated events of the holiday, drawing crowds of spectators to the waterfront to ring in the new year with joy and excitement.

  • Lively Night Parade: The Chinese New Year Night Parade is a highlight of the festivities, featuring colorful floats, traditional lion and dragon dances, marching bands, and cultural performances. The parade winds its way through the streets of Tsim Sha Tsui, captivating audiences with its vibrant energy and festive atmosphere.

  • Festive Decorations: Leading up to Chinese New Year, the streets of Hong Kong are adorned with festive decorations, including red lanterns, auspicious symbols, and traditional paper cutouts. Shopping malls, hotels, and public spaces are illuminated with festive lights, creating a cheerful and vibrant atmosphere throughout the city.

  • Flower Markets: Hong Kong's flower markets come alive with activity during Chinese New Year, offering a wide selection of traditional flowers and plants believed to bring good luck and prosperity for the coming year. Visitors can browse stalls selling peach blossoms, orchids, tangerine trees, and other festive decorations.

  • Temple Visits: Many locals and visitors alike visit temples during Chinese New Year to pray for good fortune and blessings in the new year. Wong Tai Sin Temple and Man Mo Temple are popular destinations for traditional rituals and prayers, where visitors can light incense, make offerings, and seek guidance from the gods.

  • Family Reunions and Feast: Chinese New Year is a time for family gatherings and feasting on traditional dishes. Many families enjoy a reunion dinner on Chinese New Year's Eve, where they share symbolic foods such as dumplings, fish, and longevity noodles, while catching up and celebrating together.

  • Lion and Dragon Dances: Lion and dragon dances are performed throughout Hong Kong during Chinese New Year, bringing good luck and driving away evil spirits. These colorful and energetic performances can be seen at temples, shopping malls, and public squares across the city, adding to the festive atmosphere.

  • Red Packets: Red packets, or lai see, containing money are exchanged as a symbol of good luck and prosperity during Chinese New Year. It's customary to give red packets to children, relatives, and friends as a gesture of well-wishes for the new year.

  • Cultural Events and Festivities: Hong Kong hosts a variety of cultural events and festivities throughout the Chinese New Year period, including traditional music and dance performances, martial arts demonstrations, and arts and crafts exhibitions, providing opportunities for locals and visitors to immerse themselves in the rich cultural heritage of the holiday.

  • Shopping and Markets: Hong Kong's bustling street markets and shopping districts come alive with activity during Chinese New Year, offering a wide range of festive goods, traditional snacks, and holiday gifts. The Lunar New Year Fair in Victoria Park is a popular destination for purchasing festive decorations and souvenirs, creating a festive shopping experience for visitors.

Carnival, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

Carnival in Rio de Janeiro is an exhilarating and unforgettable experience that should be on everyone's bucket list. With its spectacular parades, vibrant street parties, and infectious energy, Carnival in Rio offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to celebrate life, culture, and community in one of the world's most iconic destinations. The origins of Carnival in Rio de Janeiro can be traced back to the Portuguese colonial period in Brazil. Portuguese settlers brought the tradition of Carnival with them to Brazil in the 17th century, where it merged with indigenous, African, and other European cultural influences to create a uniquely Brazilian celebration.

When to go: February 28 - March 8, 2025

Where to stay:

Mama Shelter

3-Star Hotel

The Mama Shelter Rio de Janeiro hotel has 55 rooms, a bar and a restaurant located in the bohemian district of Santa Teresa, a paradise for artists, tourists and locals, where you can eat, drink and enjoy yourself before a night at the Mama. The hotel is located close to the center of the city, as well as the main southern districts in the city such as Flamengo, Glória and Botafogo, and major tourist attractions including Christ the Redeemer, Sugar Loaf Mountain and various museums.

Santa Teresa Hotel RJ

5-Star Hotel

Santa Teresa MGallery is a boutique hotel that blends rustic with luxury and sophistication. The bedrooms and suites are spacious and decorated, with air-conditioned, free WIFI, options for reduced mobility, and a beautiful view. The Térèze restaurant offers the best of local cuisine, and the Bar dos Descasados serves drinks. Enjoy the pool and Le Spa.

Things to do in Rio de Janeiro (for more on Carnival events, please visit Rio de Janeiro Carnival 2025 Official Site - Feb 28 - Mar 08, 2025 (

  • Samba Parades: The highlight of Carnival in Rio is the spectacular samba parades held in the Sambadrome, a purpose-built parade stadium. Rio's top samba schools, known as "Escolas de Samba," compete in elaborate and colorful parades, featuring lavish costumes, intricate floats, and mesmerizing samba music and dance routines. The parades are a dazzling display of creativity, passion, and energy, with each samba school vying for the title of Carnival champion.

  • Street Parties: In addition to the Sambadrome parades, Carnival in Rio is celebrated with countless street parties, known as "blocos," held throughout the city. These blocos range from small neighborhood gatherings to massive street festivals, with live music, dancing, and revelry lasting into the early hours of the morning. Popular blocos include Cordão do Bola Preta, Banda de Ipanema, and Simpatia é Quase Amor.

  • Costumes and Masquerades: Carnival in Rio is a time for dressing up in elaborate costumes and masks, with participants showcasing their creativity and flair. Many revelers wear themed costumes or traditional Carnival attire, such as sequined bikinis, feathered headdresses, and colorful masks. It's a chance to express yourself and immerse yourself in the festive spirit of Carnival.

  • Street Food and Drinks: Carnival in Rio is a culinary extravaganza, with street vendors selling a wide variety of delicious snacks and drinks to fuel the festivities. Sample traditional Brazilian street food such as pastéis (fried pastries), coxinhas (chicken croquettes), and churrasco (barbecue), washed down with caipirinhas, Brazil's national cocktail made with cachaça, lime, sugar, and ice.

  • Blocos and Neighborhood Celebrations: Beyond the main parades and street parties, each neighborhood in Rio has its own unique Carnival traditions and celebrations. Explore neighborhoods such as Copacabana, Ipanema, and Santa Teresa to discover hidden gems and local favorites, from intimate samba circles to lively outdoor concerts.

  • Beach Celebrations: Rio's famous beaches, including Copacabana and Ipanema, are popular gathering spots during Carnival, with beachgoers enjoying the sun, sand, and sea alongside the festivities. Many beachfront bars and kiosks host live music and DJ sets, creating a festive atmosphere by the water.

  • Cultural Events and Performances: In addition to the main Carnival events, Rio hosts a variety of cultural performances, concerts, and exhibitions throughout the city. From traditional music and dance performances to contemporary art installations, there's no shortage of cultural experiences to enjoy during Carnival in Rio.

Mardi Gras, New Orleans, Louisiana

(For more on New Orleans, see my blog post: Blog | Shanna Stewart (

Mardi Gras in New Orleans is one of the most famous and lively celebrations in the United States, known for its colorful parades, festive atmosphere, and rich cultural heritage. The roots of Mardi Gras in New Orleans can be traced back to the early French settlers who brought the tradition of Carnival to Louisiana in the late 17th century. Carnival, which culminates in the celebration of Mardi Gras, was originally a pre-Lenten festival marked by feasting, dancing, and revelry.

When to go: anytime in February through Fat Tuesday (March 4)

Where to stay:

W New Orleans

4-Star Hotel

Illuminating the energy of the city, W New Orleans - French Quarter is a vibrant oasis in the center of it all. Experience cobblestone streets and historic buildings as you arrive at the hotel. Courtyard-style architecture preserves the heart and soul of New Orleans while offering vital creature comforts. Revel from the proximity to Jackson Square and Bourbon Street, and easy access to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. SoBou, the signature French Quarter restaurant, is home to the original Legs & Eggs Burlesque Brunch, where live entertainment and authentic Creole cuisine converge. Sweat off the night's indulgences in the state-of-the-art gym or linger poolside at the outdoor courtyard pool. After living it up in New Orleans, crash in our modern guest rooms and suites, some of which feature private balconies with picturesque views of the French Quarter.

Four Seasons Hotel New Orleans

5-Star Hotel

Unlocking the authentic New Orleans, Four Seasons invites you to this landmark tower, a heritage icon with a central downtown location on the banks of the Mississippi River. Dine on innovative Louisiana cuisine, relax by the resort-style pool and plan your own private event at our 34th-floor observation deck boasting NOLAs best views.

Things to do in New Orleans (for more on Mardi Gras events, please visit

  • Watch the Parades: Don't miss the opportunity to watch the colorful Mardi Gras parades as they wind their way through the streets of New Orleans. Find a spot along the parade route and prepare to catch throws from the floats, including beads, cups, and other trinkets.

  • Explore Bourbon Street: Bourbon Street is the heart of the French Quarter and a lively hub of activity during Mardi Gras. Wander along Bourbon Street and soak up the festive atmosphere, with live music, street performers, and revelers celebrating into the early hours of the morning.

  • Visit the French Quarter: Take a stroll through the historic French Quarter and admire the beautiful architecture, bustling markets, and colorful balconies adorned with beads and banners. Stop by Jackson Square to see street artists and performers and visit iconic landmarks such as St. Louis Cathedral and the French Market.

  • Join a Krewe or Ball: Experience the glamour and tradition of Mardi Gras by attending a krewe ball or masquerade ball. Many krewes host formal events and balls leading up to Mardi Gras, featuring live music, dancing, and elaborate costumes.

  • Sample Local Cuisine: Indulge in delicious New Orleans cuisine during Mardi Gras, with specialties such as gumbo, jambalaya, po'boys, and beignets. Visit iconic restaurants and eateries in the French Quarter and beyond to savor the flavors of Creole and Cajun cuisine.

  • Experience Mardi Gras Indian Culture: Mardi Gras Indian tribes, known for their elaborate costumes and rhythmic chants, are an integral part of the city's Mardi Gras tradition. Attend a Mardi Gras Indian parade or performance to experience this unique and vibrant aspect of New Orleans culture.

  • Take a Riverboat Cruise: Enjoy panoramic views of the city and the Mississippi River aboard a riverboat cruise during Mardi Gras. Many companies offer special Mardi Gras-themed cruises with live music, dancing, and festive decorations.

  • Attend Family-Friendly Events: Mardi Gras in New Orleans isn't just for adults – there are also many family-friendly events and activities held throughout the city. From children's parades to puppet shows and arts and crafts workshops, there's something for everyone to enjoy.

  • Visit Museums and Attractions: Take a break from the festivities to explore New Orleans' museums and attractions. Learn about the city's history, music, and culture at institutions such as the Louisiana State Museum, the New Orleans Jazz Museum, and the National WWII Museum.

  • Enjoy Live Music: New Orleans is known as the birthplace of jazz, and live music is a central part of the Mardi Gras experience. Check out local music venues, jazz clubs, and outdoor stages for live performances by talented musicians and bands.

Oktoberfest - Munich, Germany

Oktoberfest in Munich is the world's largest Volksfest (beer festival and traveling funfair). It is a significant part of Bavarian culture and has been celebrated annually since 1810. Oktoberfest originated as a wedding celebration for Crown Prince Ludwig (later King Ludwig I) and Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen on October 12, 1810. The citizens of Munich were invited to join in the festivities, which included horse races, parades, and beer. Despite its name, Oktoberfest mostly takes place in September, starting in mid-September and lasting for about 16 to 18 days, ending on the first Sunday in October or on German Unity Day (October 3rd). The dates can vary slightly each year. Oktoberfest is held at Theresienwiese, often referred to as the "Wiesn," a large open space in Munich, Germany. The festival grounds cover an area of about 42 hectares (103 acres) and include numerous beer tents, food stalls, amusement rides, and attractions.

When to go: September 21 - October 6, 2024

Where to stay:

25 Hours Hotel The Royal Bavarian

4-Star Hotel

the magnificent building at Bahnhofplatz 1, the 25hours Hotel Munich The Royal Bavarian has found its place in Munich. A building with its own rich history: In the last century, it still served as a building for the postal service and a royal telegraph station. Today, it is a meeting point for travelers and city explorers. Exactly where Munich is at its most raw, urban, and vibrant - at the heart of the city. 165 rooms await the guests: The room category Small to Extra Large, plus the Swan and Peacock Suites, are cozy sanctuaries inspired by different worlds. At the heart of the 25hours Hotel, The Royal Bavarian is the eatery NENI as well as the Aperitivo Bar. It´s where our guests gather for an Oriental lunch or dinner. The Boilerman Bar on the 1st floor is the perfect place to socialize and meet friendly people.

Sofitel Munich

5-Star Hotel

The Sofitel Munich Bayerpost is situated in the heart of the city, just 109 yards (100 m) from Munich's main train station. The listed building is awash with architectural elegance and cosmopolitan culture. With 396 rooms, 20 meeting rooms and the famous Nymphenburg banquet hall the hotel boasts design and comfort. French savoir vivre fused with Bavarian zest for life. Guests cannot fail to be seduced by the unique So SPA, DÉLiCE La Brasserie and the ISARBAR.

Things to do in Munich (for more on Carnival events, please visit:

  • Visit Marienplatz: Marienplatz is Munich's central square and a hub of activity. Admire the stunning architecture of the New Town Hall (Neues Rathaus) and watch the famous Glockenspiel clock tower come to life with its mechanical figures and chimes.

  • Explore the Old Town: Wander through Munich's charming Old Town (Altstadt) and discover historic landmarks such as the Frauenkirche (Cathedral of Our Lady), the Residenz Palace, and the Asam Church (Asamkirche). Don't miss the Viktualienmarkt, a bustling food market offering local delicacies and gourmet treats.

  • Experience Beer Culture: Munich is famous for its beer culture, so be sure to visit one of the city's traditional beer halls or beer gardens. Enjoy a stein of beer at the iconic Hofbräuhaus, Augustinerbräu, or Paulaner am Nockherberg, and savor hearty Bavarian dishes like weißwurst (white sausage) and pretzels.

  • Tour the BMW Museum and BMW Welt: Car enthusiasts will appreciate a visit to the BMW Museum and BMW Welt, where you can learn about the history of BMW automobiles, view classic cars and concept vehicles, and take guided tours of the state-of-the-art production facility.

  • Relax in English Garden: Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and unwind in the English Garden (Englischer Garten), one of the largest urban parks in the world. Take a leisurely stroll, rent a paddleboat on the lake, or watch surfers ride the Eisbach wave.

  • Discover Museums: Munich is home to a wealth of museums and cultural institutions. Explore world-class art collections at the Alte Pinakothek, Neue Pinakothek, and Pinakothek der Moderne, or learn about science and technology at the Deutsches Museum, the largest museum of its kind in the world.

  • Day Trip to Neuschwanstein Castle: Embark on a day trip from Munich to Neuschwanstein Castle, one of Germany's most iconic landmarks. Marvel at the fairytale castle perched atop a hill in the Bavarian Alps and explore the picturesque surrounding area.

  • Attend a Festival or Event: Munich hosts numerous festivals and events throughout the year, including Oktoberfest, the world's largest beer festival, held annually in September. Other notable events include the Christmas markets, Tollwood Winter Festival, and the Munich Opera Festival.

  • Shop on Maximilianstrasse: Indulge in some retail therapy on Maximilianstrasse, Munich's premier shopping street. Browse upscale boutiques, designer stores, and luxury brands, or explore the nearby streets of the Gärtnerplatzviertel and Schwabing for unique shops and galleries.

  • Take a Walking Tour: Join a guided walking tour of Munich to learn about the city's history, architecture, and culture from knowledgeable local guides. Choose from themed tours such as culinary tours, beer tasting tours, and historical walking tours to suit your interests.

Songkran - Bangkok, Thailand

Songkran is the traditional Thai New Year festival, celebrated annually in mid-April. In Bangkok, as in many parts of Thailand, Songkran is a vibrant and joyful occasion marked by water fights, religious ceremonies, and cultural festivities. Songkran in Bangkok typically takes place from April 13th to 15th, although festivities may extend for several days before and after these dates. The most iconic aspect of Songkran is the water festival, during which people take to the streets to splash water on each other as a symbol of cleansing, purification, and good luck for the new year. In Bangkok, the water fights can be particularly lively, with locals and tourists alike joining in the fun. Throughout Bangkok, especially in popular tourist areas like Khao San Road, Silom Road, and Siam Square, you'll find street parties and celebrations during Songkran. Music, dancing, and food stalls line the streets, creating a festive atmosphere. Songkran is also a time for Buddhist rituals and ceremonies to honor elders and pay respect to ancestors. Many Thai people visit temples to make merit, offer prayers, and participate in traditional rituals, such as pouring scented water over Buddha images and the hands of monks.

When to go: April 13 - 15, 2024

Where to stay:

Muu Bangkok

4-Star Hotel

Style in the city with this Bangkok base designed for urbanites and socialites. MUU BANGKOK HOTEL is a cosmopolitan retreat through and through. Putting you between Sukhumvit Soi 55 and Petchaburi Road- this luxury hotel is neighbors with vibrant bars, restaurants and high-end boutiques. In fact, it is right next door to 8 Thonglor Shopping Complex. Instead of a bedroom guests have their own urban residence - with a choice of studio or one- two- and three-bedroom suites. Dark wood and fresh, white linens lend each a chic- contemporary look and feel. All come with high-quality kitchenettes, over-sized tubs and floor-to-ceiling windows showcasing the cityscape, as well as separate living and dining areas in the suites. Your kitchen means you can eat in some nights. But chefs are on-hand too, if you prefer someone else to take care of your in-room dining. For breakfast the downstairs restaurant offers a tempting choice of East and West flavors to set you up for the day ahead. There is a modern gym on-site too- open around the clock for late-night or early-morning workouts. In between, the exclusive MUU BANGKOK HOTEL shuttle will take you to the Thong Lo BTS skytrain station and on to adventures around the capital. Akyra Thonglor Bangkok is a Small Luxury Hotels of the World property.

Mandrin Oriental Bangkok

5-Star Hotel

Excellently situated within easy reach of all Bangkok main attractions, Mandarin Oriental Bangkok enjoys a peaceful yet central location. The Glorious Chao Phraya River is at our doorstep and leads to Bangkok magnificent temples-palaces-floating markets are all just minutes away. Combining elegant Thai style with seductive modern touches, each of the rooms and suites has its own distinct character. Home to nine outstanding restaurants and bars, Mandarin Oriental Bangkok is the city's premier gourmet destination. The award-winning spa boasts a serene design and over forty unique treatments blending contemporary and ancient techniques.

Things to do in Bangkok (for more info on festival events, please visit Thailand’s Songkran Water Festival: A Complete Guide for 2025 – Culture to Know):

  • Visit the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew: Explore the opulent Grand Palace complex, home to Thailand's most sacred Buddhist temple, Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha). Admire the intricate architecture, dazzling decorations, and revered religious artifacts.

  • Take a Boat Tour on the Chao Phraya River: Embark on a scenic boat tour along the Chao Phraya River, which winds its way through the heart of Bangkok. Cruise past historic landmarks, bustling markets, and traditional Thai villages, and marvel at the city's skyline from the water.

  • Explore Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn): Visit Wat Arun, one of Bangkok's most iconic landmarks, known for its stunning riverside location and towering spires adorned with colorful ceramic tiles. Climb to the top of the central prang for panoramic views of the city and river.

  • Shop at Chatuchak Weekend Market: Shop 'til you drop at Chatuchak Weekend Market, one of the largest outdoor markets in the world. Browse through thousands of stalls selling everything from clothing and accessories to handicrafts, antiques, and street food.

  • Experience Street Food at Yaowarat (Chinatown): Dive into the bustling streets of Yaowarat, Bangkok's vibrant Chinatown, and sample an array of delicious street food delights. From savory dishes like pad thai and grilled seafood to sweet treats like mango sticky rice and coconut ice cream, there's something to satisfy every craving.

  • Take a Tuk-Tuk Ride: Experience Bangkok's chaotic charm from the back of a tuk-tuk, a traditional three-wheeled taxi. Zip through the city's streets, taking in the sights, sounds, and smells of Bangkok's bustling neighborhoods.

  • Visit Jim Thompson House: Step back in time at the Jim Thompson House, a museum dedicated to the American businessman who revitalized Thailand's silk industry in the 1950s and 1960s. Explore the beautifully preserved Thai-style teakwood house and learn about Thompson's fascinating life and legacy.

  • Relax in Lumpini Park: Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and unwind in Lumpini Park, Bangkok's largest public park. Take a leisurely stroll around the lake, rent a paddleboat, or join in a tai chi or yoga session with locals.

  • Explore Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha): Marvel at the enormous golden statue of the reclining Buddha at Wat Pho, one of Bangkok's oldest and largest temples. Explore the temple grounds, which also house a traditional Thai massage school and a collection of intricately decorated chedis (stupas).

  • Experience the Nightlife: Bangkok comes alive after dark with a vibrant nightlife scene. Explore the city's rooftop bars, nightclubs, and street markets, or catch a traditional Thai puppet show or cultural performance.

International Ice and Snow Festival - Harbin, China

The Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival is an annual event held in Harbin, the capital city of Heilongjiang Province in northeastern China. It is one of the world's largest ice and snow festivals and attracts millions of visitors from around the globe each year.

The Harbin Ice Festival typically begins in late December or early January and lasts for about a month, depending on weather conditions. The highlight of the festival is the elaborate ice and snow sculptures created by talented artists and sculptors from around the world. These massive sculptures, some towering several stories high, are meticulously crafted using ice blocks harvested from the nearby Songhua River and snow from the surrounding area. The sculptures depict a wide range of subjects, from iconic landmarks and historical figures to animals, mythological creatures, and scenes from Chinese folklore.

When to go: January, 2025

Where to stay:

Sofitel Harbin

4-Star Hotel

A grocery/convenience store, a coffee shop/cafe, and a garden are just a few of the amenities provided at Sofitel Harbin. Indulge in a facial, a body treatment, and a massage at the onsite spa. Be sure to enjoy a meal at the 3 on-site restaurants, including breakfast, lunch, and dinner. In addition to a hair salon and dry cleaning/laundry services, guests can connect to free in-room WiFi.

The Ritz-Carlton, Harbin

5-Star Hotel

Perched on the upper levels of the 57-floor Harbin R&F landmark tower, The Ritz-Carlton, Harbin overlooks the stunning view of Songhua River and allows guests to enjoy the winter wonderland. Integrated in the most luxury residential area and shopping mall, it offers an unprecedented luxury experience in the local market, with the aim to be a new landmark destination for travelers seeking the most sophisticated and luxurious urban accommodation. Contemporary accommodations with a total of 368 extraordinary guest rooms offer river and city views. Four outlets located on the upper floor of the building embrace the dazzling view of the Songhua River while offering a variety of experiences.

Things to do in Harbin (for more info on festival, please visit:

  • Explore Saint Sophia Cathedral: Admire the stunning architecture of Saint Sophia Cathedral, an iconic landmark in Harbin that dates back to the early 20th century. Explore the interior of the cathedral, which now serves as a museum showcasing Harbin's history and culture.

  • Walk along Central Street (Zhongyang Street): Take a stroll along Central Street, a pedestrianized thoroughfare lined with historic buildings, shops, cafes, and restaurants. Enjoy the European-style architecture and soak up the lively atmosphere of one of Harbin's most famous streets.

  • Visit Harbin Polarland: Get up close and personal with polar animals at Harbin Polarland, a popular aquarium and wildlife park. Watch entertaining performances by polar bears, beluga whales, arctic foxes, and other cold-weather creatures.

  • Explore Harbin's Russian Influence: Learn about Harbin's Russian heritage by visiting attractions like the Russian Orthodox Church, Harbin Russian Matryoshka Art Gallery, and the Russian Culture Street. Sample Russian cuisine and shop for Russian souvenirs in this unique part of the city.

  • Relax in Stalin Park: Spend some time relaxing in Stalin Park, a picturesque riverside park located along the banks of the Songhua River. Take a leisurely stroll along the promenade, admire the views of the river and city skyline, and visit the towering flood control monument.

  • Experience Harbin's Cuisine: Indulge in Harbin's delicious cuisine, which is influenced by Russian, Manchurian, and other regional flavors. Don't miss out on specialties like Russian borscht, smoked red sausage (laohutou), and Harbin-style dumplings (Guandong baozi).

  • Attend Harbin Summer Music Concert: If you're visiting Harbin during the summer months, check out the Harbin Summer Music Concert, a popular music festival featuring performances by renowned musicians and orchestras from China and around the world.

  • Take a Winter Sports Adventure: Embrace the winter weather by participating in outdoor activities like ice skating, skiing, snowboarding, and sledding at resorts and parks around Harbin.

  • Learn about Harbin's History: Visit museums like the Heilongjiang Provincial Museum and the Harbin Museum to learn about the history, culture, and development of Harbin and the surrounding region.

Holi - Delhi, India

Holi, also known as the Festival of Colors, is one of the most vibrant and joyous festivals celebrated in India. Its history is deeply rooted in Hindu mythology and ancient traditions. The exact origins of Holi are difficult to trace, but it is believed to have originated several centuries ago in the Indian subcontinent. The festival has its roots in various Hindu legends and agricultural rites. Holi also has agricultural significance as it marks the arrival of spring and the end of the winter season. In many parts of India, Holi is celebrated as a harvest festival, where farmers thank the gods for a good harvest and pray for prosperity in the upcoming agricultural season. Holi is not only a festival of colors but also a celebration of unity, friendship, and social harmony.

When to go: March 13-14, 2025

Where to stay:

La Meridien New Delhi

5-Star Hotel

Over the last three decades, Le Meridien New Delhi has transformed itself into a masterpiece. The 5-star hotel is an epitome of world-class architecture, cuisine, design and fashion. Located in the heart of the city, the iconic glass building of Le Meridien New Delhi has been recognized as one of the 100 Icons of Delhi. The hotel is readily accessible to city's important facilities and institutions. The glass building is surrounded by ministries, government institutions, Media Centre and historical monuments. The shopping hubs Connaught Place and Janpath Market are within walking distance from the hotel. It's a perfect getaway for a business traveler who is also looking for some recreation nearby in the evening. The Le Meridien New Delhi can be summed as a Traveler's Paradise.

The Claridges

5-Star Hotel

The Claridges in New Delhi, established in 1955 as India's first five-star hotel post-Independence, is a blend of historic charm and modern luxury, located in the elite Lutyens Delhi. This landmark hotel, spread over three acres, offers rooms and suites that combine spaciousness and elegance with contemporary amenities. Renowned for its diverse culinary experiences, Our luxury hotel in central Delhi features seven unique restaurants, including the Spanish-themed Sevilla and the Punjabi-inspired Dhaba, alongside Aura, a sophisticated bar ideal for unwinding. Its prime location near key business districts and historic sites, coupled with facilities like a wellness centre and gym, makes it a preferred destination for both leisure and business travellers seeking a luxurious and comfortable stay in the heart of the capital. Strategically located in the heart of Delhi, The Claridges is just 2.2 km from the iconic India Gate, a monumental landmark of the city and 3.2 km from Rashtrapati Bhavan, the official residence of the President of India. Additionally, the hotel is conveniently situated just 1.9 km from the Lok Kalyan Marg metro station, providing guests with straightforward and quick connections to various parts of the city.

Things to do in Delhi (for more on festival and events, please visit Holi Calendar : When is Holi in 2025 - HoliFestival) :

Visit Historical Monuments: Explore Delhi's rich history by visiting iconic landmarks such as the Red Fort, Qutub Minar, Humayun's Tomb, India Gate, Jama Masjid, and Lotus Temple. These architectural marvels offer insights into Delhi's Mughal, Sultanate, and colonial past.

  • Explore Old Delhi: Get lost in the narrow lanes and bustling bazaars of Old Delhi. Visit Chandni Chowk, one of the oldest and busiest markets in Delhi, to experience its vibrant atmosphere, taste street food delicacies, and shop for spices, fabrics, jewelry, and more.

  • Take a Rickshaw Ride: Experience the charm of Old Delhi by taking a traditional cycle rickshaw ride through its chaotic streets. Let the rickshaw puller guide you through the maze of lanes while you soak in the sights, sounds, and smells of the old city.

  • Enjoy Street Food: Delhi is a paradise for food lovers, especially street food enthusiasts. Indulge in mouthwatering delicacies such as chaat, golgappa, parathas, chole bhature, kebabs, and more at popular street food hubs like Chandni Chowk, Connaught Place, and Sarojini Nagar.

  • Shop Till You Drop: Delhi is a shopper's paradise, offering a wide range of shopping experiences to suit every taste and budget. Explore markets like Dilli Haat, Sarojini Nagar, Janpath, Khan Market, and Lajpat Nagar for handicrafts, clothing, accessories, and souvenirs.

  • Visit Museums and Art Galleries: Immerse yourself in art, culture, and history by visiting museums and art galleries in Delhi. Explore the National Museum, National Gallery of Modern Art, Crafts Museum, and Indira Gandhi Memorial Museum to learn about India's rich cultural heritage.

  • Take a Heritage Walk: Join a guided heritage walk to discover hidden gems and lesser-known historical sites in Delhi. Explore neighborhoods like Mehrauli, Hauz Khas, and Nizamuddin Basti to uncover their fascinating history and architecture.

  • Experience Spiritual Serenity: Visit spiritual landmarks like the Lotus Temple, Akshardham Temple, and Gurudwara Bangla Sahib to experience moments of peace, reflection, and spiritual rejuvenation.

  • Enjoy Nightlife: Delhi has a vibrant nightlife scene with a plethora of bars, clubs, and lounges catering to different tastes and preferences. Explore nightlife hotspots like Hauz Khas Village, Connaught Place, and Cyber Hub for a memorable night out.

  • Attend Cultural Events: Check out cultural events, music concerts, theater performances, and festivals happening in Delhi throughout the year. From literary festivals to music concerts and art exhibitions, Delhi offers a diverse array of cultural experiences for enthusiasts.

St. Patrick's Day - Dublin, Ireland

St. Patrick's Day, celebrated on March 17th, is a significant cultural and religious holiday in Ireland, and the festivities in Dublin, the capital city, are among the most vibrant and lively in the world. St. Patrick's Day began as a religious feast day commemorating the death of St. Patrick, which is believed to have occurred on March 17th, around the year 461 AD. The day was originally observed as a solemn religious occasion with church services, prayers, and fasting. Over time, St. Patrick's Day evolved from a religious observance into a celebration of Irish culture, heritage, and identity. In Ireland, the holiday became an opportunity for people to gather with family and friends, attend church services, and enjoy traditional Irish food and drink.

When to go: March 15 - 18, 2025

Where to stay:

The Wilder Townhouse

4-Star Hotel

Immerse yourself in chic comfort at The Wilder- a beautifully restored Victorian townhouse just a short stroll from central Dublin. Red brick walls and original period features are a nod to the heritage of this luxury boutique hotel, while botanical prints, velvet furnishings and bold colors add a cool- contemporary touch. Wake to a generous spread in the relaxed Garden Room, where everything from homemade pancakes and hearty Irish breakfasts are served. Then hit the streets of Dublin and explore everything this small but vibrant city has to offer. The Wilder puts you within easy walking distance of the Temple Bar and the Grand Canal and private tours can introduce you to everything from its literary greats to its historic buildings. When hunger strikes, return to The Wilder for some light bites or ask to see the impressive gin and whiskey collection if you need something a little stronger. If you feel like escaping to the countryside, ask about a picnic in the picturesque gardens of nearby Powerscourt Estate. And if you want in-the-know restaurant recommendations, the friendly staff are always ready and waiting to help. The Wilder Townhouse is a Small Luxury Hotels of the World property.

The Conrad Dublin

5-Star Hotel

The award-winning Conrad Dublin is located at the heart of the city, standing opposite the gardens of St. Stephe'sGreen and overlooking the majestic National Concert Hall. Heavily inspired and influenced by Dublin's rich literary culture and local heritage, Conrad Dublin features 192 beautifully refurbished guest rooms and suites. Relax and enjoy a tasty meal in The Terrace Kitchen's Social House or take a seat in the stylish surroundings of The Coburg and experience a true brasserie. The hotel's fitness center is equipped with state-of-the-art cardio machines and weights, and the jogging routes around the picturesque St Stephen's Green are also yours to be enjoyed.

Things to do in Dublin (for more information on festival events visit: Saint Patrick's Day 2025 in Dublin - The Parade and The Day (

  • Explore Temple Bar: Start your Dublin adventure by exploring the lively neighborhood of Temple Bar. Known for its vibrant atmosphere, colorful pubs, street art, and eclectic mix of shops, galleries, and cafes, Temple Bar is a must-visit for any visitor to Dublin.

  • Visit Trinity College and the Book of Kells: Take a stroll through the historic campus of Trinity College, Ireland's oldest university. Be sure to visit the stunning Long Room of the Old Library, home to the famous Book of Kells, an illuminated manuscript dating back to the 9th century.

  • Tour Dublin Castle: Discover the history and heritage of Dublin Castle, a symbol of Ireland's medieval past and seat of British rule for centuries. Take a guided tour of the castle's interior, explore the State Apartments, and wander through the beautiful gardens.

  • Explore St. Stephen's Green: Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and relax in the tranquility of St. Stephen's Green, Dublin's largest public park. Enjoy a leisurely stroll around the lake, admire the colorful flower beds, and soak up the peaceful atmosphere.

  • Visit Guinness Storehouse: Immerse yourself in the history and brewing traditions of Ireland's most famous beer at the Guinness Storehouse. Take a self-guided tour of the iconic brewery, learn how Guinness is made, and enjoy panoramic views of Dublin from the Gravity Bar.

  • Experience Dublin's Literary Heritage: Dublin has a rich literary heritage, with many famous writers and poets calling the city home. Visit landmarks such as the James Joyce Centre, the Dublin Writers Museum, and the Oscar Wilde House to learn more about Dublin's literary legacy.

  • Enjoy Live Music: Dublin is renowned for its vibrant music scene, with live music performances taking place in pubs, bars, and music venues across the city every night of the week. Experience the magic of traditional Irish music or discover up-and-coming local bands and artists.

  • Take a Walking Tour: Join a guided walking tour of Dublin to discover the city's hidden gems, historic landmarks, and hidden stories. Choose from a variety of themed tours, including historical tours, literary tours, food tours, and ghost tours.

  • Sample Irish Cuisine: Indulge in the flavors of Irish cuisine by dining at traditional pubs, cozy cafes, and fine dining restaurants across Dublin. Be sure to try classic dishes such as Irish stew, fish and chips, beef and Guinness pie, and soda bread.

  • Day Trip to Howth or Malahide: Escape the city for a day and explore the picturesque seaside towns of Howth or Malahide. Take a scenic walk along the coast, visit historic castles and gardens, and sample fresh seafood at local restaurants.

Please note: Plan ahead and book reservations now, as all cities will be popular on these dates.

What's next on your bucket list?

1 Comment

Apr 29

I realize, I haven't done any of them. That has to be wrong!!

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