A selection of the very best cities to take in live music

For a night out, you can’t really beat taking in a talented band that you’ve never heard of before and broadening your musical horizons in the process, right?
22 September 2023

During a visit to a foreign land, if you’re keen to swap reading interviews with musicians for some live music somewhere, then some of the world’s most popular holiday destinations are capable of providing you with plenty of impressive gig venues to explore while you’re there. In fact, you’ll be spoiled for choice in some of these much-loved cities. 

For a night out, you can’t really beat taking in a talented band that you’ve never heard of before and broadening your musical horizons in the process, right? Sure, you also want to dance the night away and have fun like in Just Dance or the party-themed A Night Out slot, but treating your eardrums to a solid dose of live music at a world-famous venue is also necessary, particularly for music lovers. 

Thankfully, if you’re keen to supplement your visit to a major city with a great gig night, then let’s take a look at a selection of top cities that offer excellent live music. 

Rio de Janeiro is perfect for the bossa nova genre 

If you’ve missed Rio de Janeiro’s unrivalled carnival, then don’t worry; you’ll still be able to boogie all evening somewhere in this huge seaside location. Offering an extensive selection of live music to enjoy throughout the city, the bossa nova genre originated here as locals enjoy the energy it brings and the vibrant atmosphere it creates.

Also the place to see other genres in the flesh, such as samba carioca, funk carioca, and Brazilian hip hop, Rio de Janeiro’s affinity with music is clear as soon as you arrive in the city. Home to some top venues like Carioca de Gema and Fosfobox, music fans can’t really go wrong with a visit to this picturesque destination that is filled with flamboyant personalities, samba dancers, and the instantly recognisable Christ the Redeemer statue.

London is home to an abundance of musical styles 

One of the best things about London is its love of music. For dance music lovers, England’s capital city is home to some of the very best clubs around, while classical music lovers can take in world-renowned options like the London Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican Center. Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club is another favourite for people after something a little smoother, while the Half Moon in Putney is a quaint location that has hosted some of the world’s most famous rock bands.

If you’re at a loose end during the day, then witnessing Abbey Road Studios is the must before unwinding in the evening with a huge show at the O2. You can even find a quiet corner in a pub and take in a talented local band, too. Essentially, London has it all, it’s home to a wide range of musical offerings, and not many other cities on Earth have such an extensive package of live music shows.