“We’re going to Vienna!” Tracey, my sister says excitedly. “What?” I say. “When? Why?” My sister isn’t a big traveler, so my curiosity is piqued. “Why Vienna? What’s going on?”
Ignoring my questions, Tracey goes on to tell me she scored four coveted Taylor Swift concert tickets. “What does that have to do with your trip to Vienna?” I ask, curious and now thoroughly confused. She sighs, as if the connection between Austria and Taylor is as direct as a flight from DC to Boston.
It turns out my sister is one of the thousands of “Swifties” around the world who are traveling for Taylor Swift concerts. Fans, like Tracey, are curating European summer trips around their tickets to the biggest music phenomenon since, well, ever.
Taylor Swift needs no introduction. But should you require one, this Grammy-winning American singer and songwriter likely has the longest Wikipedia page in the history of Wikipedia. I learned a few fun facts about this 33-year-old, 21st-century, pop icon while skimming it over.
Ready for it?
Taylor Swift is named after another famous singer-songwriter—James Taylor.
Taylor Swift’s grandmother was an opera singer.
Taylor Swift started her career as a country singer at age 14.
Taylor Swift was the first billionaire with music as a source of income.
If you’re a true Swiftie, there’s nothing I can tell you about Taylor Swift that you don’t already know. And, perhaps you’ve already booked your (cruel) summer flights to watch her light up the stage in Europe. For those who haven’t, there’s still time. No one knows how to plan a European vacation like the team at CIRE. CIRE is waiting off stage to help you find the right hotel, restaurant, and flight, to make your wildest dreams come true—at least when it comes to traveling for Taylor.
Follow the Taylor Swift Eras Tour through five of Europe’s most fabulous cities: Paris, Stockholm, Munich, Vienna, and London. There’s much to do in each of these star-studded cities whether you score Taylor tickets or not. A trip to Europe is sure to dazzle and charm even the saltiest teens in your family. But a trip to Europe with a Taylor ticket in hand? Well, you just might end up winning “Parent of the Year”.
Tour dates: Four nights, May 9-12, 2024
Where to stay: There’s no shortage of luxury hotels in which to base oneself in the city of light, love, and romance. For Swifties who’d like to experience glamour befitting Taylor herself, consider staying at Hôtel Bel Ami or Hôtel Lutetia. Both of these enchanted architectural marvels, situated in Saint Germaine-des-Prés, would earn Taylor’s seal of approval.
Art Nouveau-designed Hôtel Lutetia has 176 guestrooms and eight Signature Suites in the heart of this literary- and art-driven neighborhood. Its multiple areas in which to dine and drink make the hotel a favorite of Parisiennes and tourists alike. Hôtel Bel Ami is located in a former printworks building that dates back to the 18th century. Tucked away on a side street, the 108-room boutique property has modern, stylish common spaces and an inviting restaurant and bar.
What to do: Musée d’Orsay is less than a 20-minute walk from Hôtel Lutetia and Hôtel Bel Ami. Considered one of the most important museums in the world, the Musée d’Orsay is housed in a Beaux-Arts railway station from the 1800s. The museum displays French sculptures, photography, furniture, and paintings from artists including Cézanne, Manet, Renoir, and Van Gogh.
Between October and May, lucky visitors can take advantage of Tuesday lunchtime concerts at the Musée d’Orsay. The musical notes of composers like Mozart, Verdi, and Debussy are an enchanting accompaniment to the museum’s masterpieces.
Tour dates: Three nights, May 17-19, 2024
Where to stay: Stockholm is often referred to as the ‘Venice of the North’ due to its numerous waterways, islands, and bridges. It’s a fabulous city to see on foot, and many hotels are centrally located to take advantage of pedestrian life. Villa Dagmar resides in the upscale neighborhood of Östermalm and is well-known for its proximity to high-end shopping and fine dining. It’s even more popular for having a private entrance to Östermalms Saluhall, one of Stockholm’s oldest markets.
Ett Hem is designed for travelers looking for something highly personal. With only 22 rooms and suites, Ett Hem is more like a private residence than a hotel. Its homey common spaces and nuanced style will inspire you to grab a book, play board games by lamplight, or enjoy a cappuccino in the private, beautifully manicured gardens.
What to do: With the catchy tagline ‘Walk in. Dance out.’ what music lover could resist a museum dedicated to Sweden’s most famous supergroup? The ABBA Museum is the home of ABBAWORLD, the traveling exhibit that pays homage to Björn, Benny, Agnetha, and Anni-Frid—the phenomenal band that took the world by storm in the 1970s.
A few museum highlights worth discovering include a Waterloo set made to look like Brighton during the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest and a recreation of Folkpark where ABBA first met.
If nothing else, prep your vocal cords and create your perfect ABBA playlist. This is your chance to perform with the band in one of the museum’s supercool virtual, interactive experiences. Just don’t blame me if you spend the rest of the day with “Dancing Queen” ringing in your head. It will soon be replaced with “Lover”, “Anti-Hero”, or “Blank Space” anyway.
Tour dates: Eight nights, June 21-23, August 15-17, and August 19-20, 2024
Where to stay: London has hotels as varied and eclectic as its neighborhoods. Visitors looking for a less-expected experience in a city known for subtlety just might fall for Fitzrovia’s 33-room Mandrake Hotel. At the Mandrake, no detail is too small to be over the top. Each bedroom has been designed to be provocative. Some rooms have solid black walls with purple velvet studded headboards and extraordinarily colorful artwork and rugs. Others are filled with light and accented with antique chandeliers. The contrast of colors and textures found within the Mandrake is part of its appeal. With no blank spaces and no two rooms evoking the same feelings.
Hotel guests can rest assured their spirits are also taken care of. Overnight stays include a treatment from the hotel’s Spiritual Wellbeing Concierge Menu. But if you define spirits a bit differently, enjoy a complimentary masterclass in ethnobotanical cocktail making instead.
On the more traditional yet contemporary end of the spectrum is Brown’s, a hotel set on a side street in Mayfair, London’s most elegant neighborhood. Art galleries, jewelry shops, and restaurants are mere steps from Brown’s understated yet beautiful entrance. The rooms and lobby are so welcoming that guests will be hard-pressed to leave the comfort of the hotel. Don’t miss the ever-so-slightly hidden Donovan Bar. Its craft cocktails are some of the best in town.
What to do: London’s music scene is like no other in the world. Having given us some of the best bands in history, it’s not hard for music lovers to find things to entertain them in England’s capital city. Visitors can walk along Berwick Street, the “Golden Mile”, and shop for records at one of the many vinyl shops. Or, they can cross Abbey Road, where the Beatles shot their famous album cover. An Instagrammable moment if there ever was one.
For anyone hoping to book-end their Taylor-inspired trip with a classically-inspired venue, head to Kensington to catch a performance at the Royal Albert Hall.
Tour dates: Two nights, July 27-28, 2024
Where to stay:
Bayerischer Hof is one of Munich’s most legendary hotels. Located in the historic center of the city, and with Alps views, the hotel was originally conceived by King Ludwig I. Today, its array of timeless rooms and earthy, understated elegance attracts pop stars, business tycoons, and visitors alike. With five restaurants, including the three Michelin-starred Atelier, there’s no wonder Bayerischer Hof is such an ideal spot to stay in Munich.
Quirky, modern, bold, sophisticated, and fun. Welcome to The Charles, A Rocco Forte Hotel, in the heart of Munich. Built in 2007 and steps from many important sites including the city’s museum district, there’s possibly no better place to be situated in Munich. The light and airy hotel has 160 rooms and suites, some of which overlook the city’s treasured botanical gardens.
What to do: A trip to Germany wouldn’t be complete without visiting a beer hall or two. Luckily, the city of Munich is packed with places to take part in one of Germany’s oldest traditions. Dating back to 1589, Hofbräuhaus is one of the most famous beer halls in the country. It’s even said that Lenin was one of Hofbräuhaus’ regular customers. Four times a year, the beer hall hosts Bavarian dancing, but its resident band performs daily, so grab a stein, have a seat, and enjoy.
Tour dates: Three nights, August 8-10, 2024
Where to stay: Vienna’s Art Deco gem, the Hotel Bristol, exudes Viennese charm. Walking distance to the Vienna State Opera House and Hofburg Palace, the hotel is a natural base for visitors to take advantage of some of the city’s most important sites. Hotel Bristol has 150 gorgeous rooms and 24 suites, many with stunning city views.
A smaller, yet no less beautiful, place to stay in Vienna is The Alstatdt Hotel. Each of the rooms and suites in this restored 1902 townhouse is visually unique. More of an art gallery than a traditional hotel, the space is home to a large private collection of contemporary art. Its Spittleberg location near the Museum Quarter makes it an especially idyllic spot for art lovers visiting Vienna.
What to do: Wiener Staatsoper (The Vienna State Opera House) is one of the world’s most renowned music venues. Its majestic and welcoming entrance is impossible to overlook. Neo-classical in style, the opera house is adorned with columns, sculptures, facades, and statues that rival any world-class museum. Staatsoper has been the stage for some of the greatest composers and musicians of all time since its opening in 1869—a symbol of Vienna’s rich musical history and commitment to the arts.
Will Travel for Taylor
My sister and her family have Taylor Swift to thank for encouraging them to explore a new European city next summer. Without Taylor, I’m sure Vienna would never have been on their radar. I have no doubt they will fall in love with the food, architecture, and culture of Austria’s capital city. Perhaps afterward they will be inspired to explore other destinations.
Whether you’re a fan of Taylor Swift or James Taylor, checking out tour dates of favorite performers is as good an excuse as any to plan travel. Some people travel for food. Others travel for art. Why not for music?
Who travels for Taylor? More people than you’d think. Ask around. Taylor’s not just for teens. Don’t believe me? Just ask my sister.
Jamie Edwards is an avid traveler, travel writer, and photographer. She launched I am Lost and Found, her adventure/luxury travel website after 25 years of living and traveling around the globe. Jamie’s goal is simple, to inspire travel.
CIRE Travel is a full-service travel agency headquartered in New York, NY. Our expert corporate travel planners, honeymoon travel agents, and luxury travel planners support clients across the country and around the world.
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