One of the most memorable aspects to international travel is to soak up local culture and try out some new experiences that you would never even have considered in your home town. Music has always been one of the most important methods of artistic expression, so wherever you are in the world, a live event is something that is worth checking out. Here, we take a look at five very different musical experiences from locations all over the world. Leave your preconceptions at home and give them a try!

Glasgow, Scotland

Once a grim, industrial city, Glasgow has undergone a cultural revolution since the turn of the millennium, and has been described by Time magazine as Europe’s secret capital of music. From cavernous arenas to back street pubs, you will find live gigs of every imaginable sort, all with a vociferous and infectiously enthusiastic following. For fans of alternative rock, few cities have a superior pedigree. Franz Ferdinand, Snow Patrol, Primal Scream…. Need we say more?

Rome, Italy

No trip to Rome is complete without a visit to its historic opera house. Many people make the mistake of thinking opera is not for them, or that it will be boring / impossible to understand / full of stuffy retirees. Remember what we said about leaving your preconceptions at home, if you enjoy a good story put to powerful music, and all in a majestic, historic atmosphere, you will love a night at the opera. You can book your tickets in advance here to avoid disappointment and get them at the best price. Give it a go, and prepare to be blown away.

Montreal, Canada

Montreal has a global reputation for being the home of jazz. Its annual festival attracts visitors from across the globe, but you can visit the city any time of year and be spoiled for choice. There is a vast range of clubs, restaurants and bars that showcase the very best musicians from North America and beyond, jamming the night away on stage.

Goa, India

If you visit any part of India during the wedding season (October to March), you will be able to join in a party unlike any other. The baraat, or wedding procession, starts at the groom’s home and makes its way to the bride’s residence, typically growing in size all the way. Often, the groom will be riding a white horse, and the whole procession will be led by a band of a dozen or more musicians playing trumpets, tubas, baritone horns, saxophones and drums.

Havana, Cuba

It’s not all cigars and classic cars. Cuba is arguably the most important source of music in all of Latin America. The mamba, the rumba and the chahchacha all originate from here. There are fantastic venues throughout the city, especially in the vibrant Vedado district. Casa de la Música de Centro Habana is a lively club that has acquired a reputation as one of the top venues for up and coming salsa bands.