Inspiration can come from anywhere. But what happens you feel like your inspiration has dried up? Sometimes, the best thing to do is change up your surroundings and immerse yourself in a new culture, a place you’ve never seen, to inspire ideas you’ve never had.
Whether you are looking for literary inspiration, musical or artistic, there are cities all around the world that are perfect for inspiring a creative breakthrough. Find yourself walking in the footsteps of the greats or visiting cities that are making the future of your craft.
Without further ado, here are the best destinations to inspire a creative breakthrough.
As one of the world’s oldest art forms, it’s almost impossible to believe that there are still millions of brand new literary ideas being written down as we speak. The world of writing, in any form, is a diverse one. From tortured novelists to lovesick poets, all manner of people have picked up a pen and live on eternally through the words they wrote.
If you find yourself with writer’s block, not knowing where to go and needing inspiration, there are three cities we recommend for an injection of creative energy.
If you are journeying to Havana on any of our cruises to Cuba, you’ll be happy to know the city is a fantastic place for creative energy and inspiration. As the old haunt of Ernest Hemingway, and a fantastically diverse place full of vintage cars, good rum and packed bars, it’s an amazing place to experience a beautiful culture.
You can travel around the city and follow in Hemingway’s footsteps, you can even go to El Floridita - a bar in the city that Hemingway announced makes the best daiquiri in the world. When there you can order the Hemingway daiquiri and drink alongside a statue of him. After having a drink with a legend, you’ll be sure to come away with some amazing ideas.
Dublin has long been known as the home of many incredible authors. The city has been inspirational for many years thanks to its incredible culture. A culture that consists of beautiful Celtic music, traditional pubs filled with beers and whisky and exceptional landscapes. There is no wonder why so many authors flocked here to while away their days.
If you want to follow in the footsteps of literary giants like Oscar Wilde, James Joyce, Bram Stoker, Jonathan Swift, Thomas Kinsella and many more this is the place to come. Journey, with your notebook and pen in hand, to a traditional pub, order a drink and write.
We spoke to Allison, blogger at Eternal Arrival, who told us why she thinks Dublin is a great place for literary lovers to visit: “Dublin is a great place to visit for literary lovers because of its long tradition of producing writers of extraordinary talent, from classic authors like Samuel Johnson to creative modernists like James Joyce and W.B. Yeats. You can explore the history of the city's literature quite easily by foot.”
We asked Allison where she would recommend literary lovers visit whilst in the city: “The best literary heritage can be found at the James Joyce Center, where you can see a variety of exhibitions on the author's work. Another place to visit is Trinity College, where you can see the magnificent Long Room and the famous Book of Kells. The National Library of Ireland is also another excellent place to get inspired and see literary history first-hand.”
The bond between England and India is one that goes back in time. Because of this, we witnessed a whole generation of writers who were inspired by the beautiful and chaotic streets of cities like Mumbai. This incredible city has something to ignite every sense within your body and to wake up your creative senses with a culture shock.
India is the birthplace of incredible writers like George Orwell, William Thackery, and Mumbai itself the birthplace of Rudyard Kipling. Thanks to this, a lot of novels we know and love today are set in, or heavily inspired by India. Travelling to Mumbai is a great way to explore this destination, learn more about its culture and perhaps even find a new destination for your next great story.
Amsterdam is a fantastically cultured city that has the arts in its bones. Something it is exceptionally good at is classical music, and thanks to its fantastic concert halls and stunning venues you are able to find shows all over the city.
The cities concert season runs from September to June, where there are free concerts held at 12:30 pm every Wednesday. Attending one of these should be on any classical music fans bucket list. If you arrive out of season Amsterdam is still home to some world-renowned concert halls like the Royal Concertgebouw, home to the Dutch Philharmonic Orchestra, and Oude Kerk, the oldest building in the whole city.
New Orleans, USA
As the home of jazz, New Orleans is a fantastic choice for a music lover. It’s a brilliant destination even for those who don’t love music, as the streets are constantly alive with an electric energy only this city can seem to contain. The music though, it’s heavenly, and when you walk through the streets of this city you’ll feel it in every step you take. You’ll hear it pour from the buildings and fill the streets with beautiful song.
It’s hard not to fall in love with New Orleans when you visit, but for a music lover, it’s impossible. Music is in this city’s veins and is the backbone of everything they do. The locals welcome you into their arms just like your favourite symphony, and the city will keep giving you something new to discover. It’s here that you’ll be able to find inspiration once more.
Busan, South Korea
If you are looking towards the future of music, an amazing place to visit is Busan, in South Korea. K-pop has slowly been becoming more popular as time goes on a now it’s quite common to see these Korean pop bands at the top of the UK charts. This progression of pop music is something that we have seen throughout time, but it’s refreshing seeing it come from Korea.
South Korea is an immensely beautiful country, with a rich history and heritage. Similarly to Japan, the country is lucky to benefit from both uniquely beautiful landscapes and modern cities. Busan is one of those cities, and as the second largest in the country, it’s an amazing place to dive into not only the K-pop scene but a new world.
Whether you are a lover of the old romantics or modern abstract artists, there are places around the world that are perfect for giving you the blast of creative enthusiasm you need. Walking the halls of the world biggest galleries, or streets that are their own gallery can give you enough to inspire a new brainwave. Pack your sketchbook and your pencils, because these are the three best cities to inspire your creative breakthrough.
As the world’s most-visited art museum, there is no denying the Louvre is a powerhouse of all ages of art. The incredible structure itself is something of wonderment and majesty. This crowning pyramid of light and culture is the reason Paris is a must-go for artist inspiration.
The museum has been an icon of arts culture since its establishment in 1793, and recently received a large influx of visitors and interest after being featured in a music video for a song by Beyoncé and Jay Z. It is arguably home to some of the world’s greatest works of art, including Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, Alexandros of Antioch’s Venus de Milo, Liberty Leading the People by Eugène Delacroix and many more. Take your sketchbook, or simply walk around and absorb the beauty of it all.
New York, USA
New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) is one of the world’s most popular contemporary galleries. The gallery contains modern classics and recent works by prominent artists. As you weave around the large white rooms and between the works, joining thousands of people before you, you’ll be able to gain inspiration from some amazing pieces.
Just like the Louvre, the MoMA contains some of the world’s most revered pieces, including The Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh, The Persistence of Memory by Salvador Dali, Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup Cans and Roy Lichtenstein’s Drowning Girl.
We spoke to Genevieve Hassall, blogger at The Wander Bug, who spoke to us about why she believes the MoMa is a brilliant place to visit if you are an art and design lover: “MoMA is one of the largest and most influential modern art museums in the world, which makes it unmissable for art and design lovers! The collection spans so many periods and artists from so many different countries. Along with their permanent collection, they have really interesting exhibitions on all the time.”
We then asked where else in NYC she could recommend people went if they are looking for art in the city: “You're really spoiled for choice in New York City! The Whitney is a fantastic museum, located in the Meatpacking District. It celebrates American art and is one of the best places to experience American art - they have great free guided tours as well, which really added a lot to my experience.
If you like to find your art in the real world, then Lisbon is one of the best cities for you. As well as beautifully patterned tiles, intricately cobbled streets and colourful buildings, the walls are lined with their own beautiful murals. The street art scene in Lisbon is one of the best in the world, and the great European influences can be seen when looking at these works of art.
It won’t take long before you find walls lined with beautiful paintings, and it’ll take you even less time to see some of the beauty the raw city has underneath these artworks. We recommend taking in Lisbon by foot (and stopping to restore with some coffee and a local pasties de nata) whilst thinking about all of the things you could create when you get home.
And there it is, the best cities in the world to inspire a creative breakthrough. Have you been to any of these cities and found your muse, or perhaps you have visited other places that you feel can help someone through a writer’s block? We’d love to hear what you think!