There’s nothing like rocking out at Red Rocks…

It seems like all the headline shows these days are about big lights, bright lasers and all sorts of smoke and mirrors. We’re totally ok with that, and love Taylor Swift unequivocally, but isn’t there something incredibly inspiring about letting the natural sunset behind the Grand Canyon or the cliffs of Sicily set the ambiance for the night, instead? Across the world, there are a few iconic concert venues which are worth traveling to, just to stand in, let alone see one of your favorite performers, so if you need some trip inspiration, it’s right here.

a large crowd of people in a large crowd with Red Rocks Amphitheatre in the backgroundRed Rocks Ampitheatre, Colorado, USA

This outdoor venue is unlike any other. Surrounded by Red Rocks Park and literal red rocks just about everywhere, it’s a place worth visiting even for a silent disco with your headphones, let alone a massive artist. You’ll find everything from Top 40 hits to all time icons playing here, and with over 8,000 seats, you’ll light up the night sky.

a city with a body of water and a large buildingThe Float @ Marina Bay, Singapore

With the largest floating stage in the world and a location in the inimitable Marina Bay area of Singapore, this is easily one of the coolest venues in the world. Whether you see sport or music, it will most definitely be a day, or better yet, a night with views of the SkyTree light show in the background to remember…

an arena with red seats and lights with Royal Albert Hall in the backgroundRoyal Albert Hall, London, England

This venue is a national treasure. The charismatic and distinctive building holds a large range of different shows each year, including classical, pop and rock concerts, ballet, sports and much more, all in the heart of London. The film screenings with live orchestra, like Star Wars, are simply untouchable and a must for any major movie nerds buffs.

an old theater with an open roof and a large stone building with a large body of waterTeatro Antico di Taormina, Taormina, Italy

Even without  a great concert or show, this ancient Greek theatre is a destination in itself. But fear, not, there are major concerts here all the time – like Sting, who’s playing this week. With money shot views and a whole lot of history, it’s definitely worth planning your next Sicily trip around a great concert at this inimitable venue.

an aerial view of a quarryDalhalla, Rättvik, Sweden

Talk about unique! This summer music venue is set in a 60 meter deep limestone quarry, in just about the middle of nowhere. No matter who you end up seeing, summer in Sweden is a special experience, and you’ll have plenty to talk about if you plan a side trip around this unique Scandic concert experience.

a stadium with a body of waterJones Beach Theatre, New York, USA

When you think of iconic venus in New York, Madison Square Garden immediately comes to mind. Although it’s a cool place for any event, the Theatre at Jones Beach offers something a little more unique than the arena experience. The outdoor Amphitheater brings impressive views over Jones Beach, on the South Shore of Long Island and headliners are timed around the moment of sunset. You can catch Kendrick Lamar, Jeff Beck and everything in between, but only during the summer.

Sydney Opera House with pointed roof and stairsSydney Opera House, Sydney, Australia

We’d like to think that there aren’t many people in the world who wouldn’t recognize this truly remarkable piece of architecture, known as the Sydney Opera House. It is stunning both inside and out, and with over 40 shows a week there’s bound to be something worth seeing next time you’re in Sydney. And after the show, the nearby CBD and waterfront offers the perfect place for a drink, if you’re into that sort of thing!

a crowd of people in a buildingParadiso, Amsterdam, Netherlands

It’s hard to beat the vibe and atmosphere created at the one and only Paradiso. The stunning venue is built from a converted church with high ceilings and two levels of balconies to pray rock out. You can find everything from the world’s most famous DJ’s to heavy metal and everything in between. After the gig, you’re in Amsterdam, and it doesn’t get much groovier than Amsterdam.

a building with a large dome on the waterNational Centre for the Performing Arts, Beijing, China

Also known as The Giant Egg, this building is simply stunning, concert venue not withstanding. The titanium accented glass dome is surrounded by an artificial lake and is an iconic structure of the modern age, with virtually impeccable acoustics. The venue offers something for everyone, as The Giant Egg contains an opera house, concert hall and theatre. If you’re in Beijing, why not see what’s on?

a large building with a stained glass ceiling and a stage with Palau de la Música Catalana in the backgroundPalau de la Música, Barcelona, Spain

The unique and beautiful building puts artists on edge, as it’s hard to tell who the real headliner and crowd pleaser will be. We’re looking at you, Bieber. The natural light that flows through the stained glass windows and ceiling is simply breathtaking, and as a UNESCO World Heritage Site you can claim culturally redeeming value, whatever artist you choose to see.


What’s the best venue you’ve ever been to?

Featured image courtesy of the Royal Albert Hall, London.

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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  1. Gilbert – I would like to add two other places to your list – 1) La Scala opera house in Milan, not because it is stunning, but because everyone who is anyone has performed there, and it’s long history. 2) The Paris Opera House because it is gorgeous outside but far nicer inside. The cartouche from which the chandelier hangs is painted by Marc Chagall, the main staircase is flanked by life size blackamoor (bronze?) torchieres, the hallways have the opulence of a palace. I wish I could include some pix here.

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