Cities to Visit for Music Lovers

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Traveling awakens the senses. In addition to choosing a destination for the things you can see and taste, consider those that also make your toes tap and head bob. According to the Harvard Medical School, music may enhance mental performance, reduce stress, and help you feel happier and more energetic—all good things when you’re on a trip. As you add new destinations to your travel wish list, keep in mind that many major cities are the birthplaces or major hubs of popular music scenes. There are countless cities for music lovers to explore. Here are a few musical getaway ideas for your next private chartered jet.

Nashville, Tennessee

Hailed as Music City, Nashville is home to hundreds of music spots that attracts big names across the musical spectrum—from Steven Tyler to Reba McEntire to Kendell Marvel. The legendary Grand Ole Opry is the epicenter for concerts. It still live-records its country music and variety show. Tour Ryman Auditorium, one of the city’s historic venues, and attend a concert or live recording. While country, blues, and honky-tonk are big draws, Nashville has a thriving rock scene. The Basement, below Grime’s New & Preloved Music, is an intimate venue that hosts a variety of musical acts, including secret shows by bands like Metallica.

Vienna, Austria

Vienna, the City of Music, is a must-visit destination for any classical music lover. Many of the fathers of the music genre were born in Vienna or made the city their home, including Mahler, Struss, Schubert, Haydn, Brahms, Mozart, and Beethoven. The city’s annual performance season, which stretches from September to June, celebrates the legacy of great composers. Experience a world-class recital by catching the Vienna Philharmonic at the iconic Vienna State Opera House. If you’re a musician, shop for sheet music at the Musikhaus Laimer music store, which has a piano you can use to try playing the compositions you find. The Musikhaus Kerschbaum music store is another good choice for feeding your sheet music fix. The shop also sells an assortment of instruments. If you’re looking for more contemporary compositions, check out the Musik Müller music store.

Seattle, Washington

The birthplace of the 1990s grunge music scene, Seattle continues to embrace the genre. At the time of publication, the Museum of Pop Culture, formerly the EMP Museum, features exhibits celebrating David Bowie, Jimi Hendrix, and Jim Henson (the Muppets sang a lot of songs). It also has the Sound Lab, a hands-on installation that allows you play with the “tools of rock ‘n’ roll,” such as mixing boards, samplers, electric guitars, effects pedals, keyboards, drums, and microphones. On the way to or from Sea-Tac, stop by Sub Pop Records, the record label that released albums by Nirvana, Soundgarden, Mudhoney, Iron and Wine, David Cross, The Shins, Fleet Foxes, and other artists. The record label sells the recorded music and related merchandise. Venues like the Columbia City Theater and Shadowbox are great places to catch live music.

Havana, Cuba

Havana has hypnotic rhythms that will make you shake your hips without realizing it. A Caribbean city that seems lost in time, Havana has deep musical roots. The country is the birthplace of Son Cubano, a style of folk music considered the root of modern salsa music. The genre marries African rhythms and percussion with Spanish-inspired melodies, vocal styles, and stringed instruments. Havana is also popular for its Latin jazz, rumba and timba, which you’ll hear in the streets and bars. Get a balcony seat at the Salón Rosado and overlook a sea of dancers while listening to amazing music. Tour company insightCUBA offers a Jazz in Havana Tour that allows you to experience the rhythmic nation in a different light, visit recording studios, sip rum in lively jazz clubs, and meet the musicians behind some of the country’s most famous songs.

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