There are few places in the world that haven’t at some point been transformed into a music venue, whether that’s for a local village singer or a global megastar playing at the Great Pyramids or the Great Wall of China.
While many of these are one-off publicity stunt venues, there are also plenty of permanently established stadiums, concert halls and more that are just as fascinating.
Below are a few picks of music venues that are worth the trip for music lovers at least once in a lifetime.
The Arena of Nimes
Unlike most modern places called arenas, the structure at Nimes has a much better claim to the name, given that it is one of the best-preserved examples of an authentic Roman arena in the world. More incredibly, it has been in near-constant use for almost 2,000 years and has played host to some major musical stars, including Daft Punk, ZZ Top and Elton John.
For the best experience, make sure to visit for the Festival de Nimes around the end of June, which is the arena’s full-blown music festival.
The Colosseum at Caesar’s Palace
From authentic Roman to something that decidedly isn’t, the Caesar’s Palace casino in Las Vegas is still very much an experience all to itself. What many don’t know is that the casino has its very own music arena, essentially a smaller version of the Roman Colosseum. The venue is technically separate from the casino, although both sides naturally cater to customers from the other.
It’s certainly a unique scene to have people coming in from the casino, checking out a poker guide or blackjack chart to learn the game between Adele songs, and then heading back to the casino floor afterwards to put their learning to use. As a fun note, the venue is very much linked to Celine Dion and the music video to her song ‘Ashes’ was filmed on stage at the Colosseum, complete with a dancing Deadpool in support of the recently released Deadpool 2.
Wieliczka Salt Mine
For something completely different, we finish with something far less classical in design but far more classical in music. The Wieliczka Salt Mine near Krakow in Poland is a 13th Century former functioning mine and a World Heritage site, now converted into a beautiful underground city, complete with a 700-seat music chamber.
The lineup of music at the mine is less contemporary pop and rock and more focused on classical and jazz music, hosting events like a New Year’s Concert or the popular ‘Afternoon with Strauss’. More incredible is that it can boast its very own 200-year-old orchestra and thanks to the specific acoustic design of the chamber, hearing them play is unlike any other version on Earth.
Other honourable mentions for this list include the Swedish Dalhalla Amphitheatre situated in a former limestone quarry, as well as the half-nightclub half-adult funhouse at the House of Eternal Return in Santa Fe, New Mexico. All in all, plenty of options to choose from no matter how near or far you want to travel.