Culture Vultures: Salzburg is Europe’s Capital of Culture

Article posted 8 June 2020

Culture Vultures: Salzburg is Europe’s Capital of Culture

For some, holidays are for learning about and absorbing new cultures, so we’ve cracked where the best places are to go to properly experience a city in all its glory.

One day, we’ll all be able to travel again, so we want to help you pick where to go first. Here, you’ll find our ranking of the most cultured holidays you can go on. We get you might have to strike a balance between your travel budget and getting a good dose of culture, so we’ve figured that out for you too.

Then, when it comes to where to fly from – once we can do so safely again – we’ve worked out which are the best airports in the UK for cultural getaways. Take a look at our findings.

Salzburg tops the culture rankings

Looking at 43 cities across Europe, when it comes to culture, Salzburg, Austria, is the best place to go. It beat many of the tourist culture hotspots to the top spot, including Venice, Italy, which just slipped into 2nd place, Paris, France, which was down in 8th, and Rome, Italy, which only ranked as average for culture down in 28th place.

How did we figure this out? Salzburg has a strong balance of attractions that are museums, nature, expensive restaurants, and landmarks. Not to mention the average restaurant score on TripAdvisor is a reliable 4.6. At the same time, it’s not too big on nightlife – the kind of place you’ll go for an unforgettable trip rather than one you’ll forget after too much beer.

Other cities that ranked highly for their culture include the Portuguese city of Funchal in 3rd, the Swedish capital of Stockholm in 4th, and the Norwegian capital of Oslo in 5th.

Here are the top ten locations for culture in Europe:

In Warsaw, you can get the most culture for your cash

What if you’ve got a budget to stick to but still want a highly cultured experience? We figured out where you can get the most bang for your buck and it turns out Warsaw, Poland is the place. We compared the city’s culture score to the average cost of the essentials of a cultural holiday: return flight cost, meal cost, and attraction cost.

In Warsaw, you can get a return flight, 14 meals, and 17 attractions for £300. For a weekend of culture in the city, you’ll spend £74.44.

Fancying somewhere warmer? Florence, Italy is your next best bet for balancing culture and cost. For £300, you can pay for a return flight, 8 meals, and 8 attractions. For a weekend there, it’d cost you £118.44.

If you brushed off the Nordic destinations as being too pricey then think again. You could have a weekend in Oslo, Norway, for £126.48. If you’re planning a holiday on a £300 budget, you’ll get the same number of meals, flights, and attractions as you would in Venice.

Here are the ten best destinations for the best balance between culture and cash spend:

Heathrow is the most cultured airport

It’s good knowing where your cultural hotspots are but you need to know how to get there. So, which airports are best for connecting you to the destinations you’re looking for, and which ones do your fellow culture vultures choose when they’re heading out on their holidays?

Comparing the percentage of high culture destinations offered to the percentage of passengers flying to high culture destinations and factoring in the average culture score for the destinations offered, we calculated our list. Heathrow came out on top, getting an average culture score of 5.2, with 33% of its destinations offered being high culture and 27% of passengers flying to them.

The second most cultured airport was Southampton, while the Scottish capital of Edinburgh was third.

Here’s our list of the UK’s most cultured airports:

When we can get out and see the world again, we’ll be hungry to learn and experience what different locations across the continent will be like. It helps to know where you can lap up the most culture, where you can balance your budget, and where’s best to fly from. Were there any surprises in there? What’s on your cultural holiday wish list when you can travel once more?

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