Sightseeing and museums aren’t for everyone. Not everyone appreciates going on tours and exploring the nightlife in a foreign city. If you’re looking for something to do on your trip away that’s a little bit different from the clichéd activities, you could always take a class.
Often, the unique setting of the destination you’re visiting makes it the perfect environment to hold a class teaching a particular skill. There’s just something special about learning pottery in Greece and making paella in Spain. You should definitely take advantage of that while you can.
Check out these 10 classes you can take around the world.
10 Dublin: River Dancing
River dancing is one of the most unique elements of Irish culture. When most people visit Ireland for the first time, they usually want to go and see a river dancing show. But you can also take river dancing classes if you would like to learn this fast-paced dance yourself.
At the Irish Dance Party in Dublin, you can organize lessons while you’re staying in the Irish capital. They also offer music and dance shows and all kinds of packages for all kinds of celebrations. You’ll definitely need a pint of Guinness afterward.
9 Hawaii: Surfing
When it comes to surfing, Hawaii does it like no other destination. The huge waves that you’ll find around some of the islands might be a little overwhelming if you’re not a pro-surfer. But that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the fun. There are infinite surf schools in Hawaii that will teach you how to own that surfboard.
Surfing is actually harder than it looks—the pros just make it look easy. You might find that it will take all your energy and skill just to stand up straight on the board for five seconds before falling down. Still, surfing lessons are a lot of fun.
8 London: Chocolate-Making
The Brits aren’t exactly famous for their chocolate. That doesn’t mean you can’t learn all the skills you need to become a chocolatier in London, however. Just head to MyChocolate and you’ll be all set for a career in chocolate-making. And if not, at least you’ll have plenty of fun.
While this isn’t a free thing to do in London, it is a little different from the clichéd attractions that most tourists flock to. In addition to chocolate workshops, MyChocolate holds parties and events and sell chocolate-making kits.
7 Florence: Painting
Art enthusiasts must head to Florence, Italy at least once in their lives. Some of the world’s best and most famous artwork is contained within this medieval city. And when you’re done browsing through exceptional pieces from the likes of Leonardo da Vinci, you can follow in his footsteps with a class from Arte Leonardo.
The school holds all kinds of art lessons, from painting and drawing to sculpture, fashion design, photography, watercolor, mosaics, and even architecture. The good news is you can do one-day intensive programs if you’re only in town for a few days.
6 Barcelona: Paella-Cooking
There is a lot to write home about in Barcelona. But perhaps the most beloved element of any Barcelona trip is the delicious food you’ll get to eat. And with classes like those held by Barcelona Cooking, you’ll also learn the skills to recreate the yummy local dishes when you return home!
Located on the world-famous La Rambla strip, the cooking school offers both classes and food tours. It’s also situated close to the produce market La Boqueria, which means you’ll often get to shop for fresh ingredients before combining them into a delicious paella.
5 Bali: Meditation
When you visit the Indonesian island of Bali, you will have the chance to immerse yourself in an ancient culture that values Buddhist concepts such as meditation, gratitude, and mindfulness. Although you certainly don’t need a teacher to start meditating, sometimes it helps to have a guide to help you.
Some establishments in Bali will send a certified teacher to your hotel or villa to run a private 60-minute class with you. You can also go to yoga and meditation retreats, like those held by Bali Spirit. You’ll definitely come away feeling refreshed and at one with yourself and the world.
4 Tokyo: Martial Arts
Tokyo is an action-packed city that definitely has no shortage of things to do. But if you ever feel like you want to do something a little different in Tokyo, you could always join a martial arts class. Quiet Flame is a school in Tokyo that trains professional fighters and beginners alike in the art of taekwondo and stunts.
While some martial arts schools in Tokyo may conduct all lessons in Japanese, you don’t have to speak Japanese to understand these classes. They are held for students all over the world, and you can either pay per class or purchase a package in advance.
3 Paris: French
If there’s one country where you should always learn some of the local language before going, it’s France. The French really appreciate when foreigners go to the effort of learning a little of their language, simply because so many don’t bother. So a French class in Paris may be just what you need.
Situated in a central spot, Langue Appart is a small and cozy school that teaches foreigners French. It’s great for longer stays (since learning a language does take time) but can also be ideal for those who are only staying in Paris for the short-term.
2 Edinburgh: Photography
The city of Edinburgh is one of those places that you have to see to believe. Words don’t do it justice—it’s simply one of the most beautiful places in the world. Photos don’t do it justice, either, but you’ll have a better chance of taking great photos of Edinburgh with a local photography course.
If there’s anywhere you want to study photography, it’s in a city with as much beauty as Edinburgh. There are so many gorgeous sights to snap, so photography courses and classes like those offered by the Edinburgh Photography Workshop are a great opportunity.
1 Athens: Pottery
When you come to Athens, you have plenty of chances to see ancient pottery and ceramics that date back to the time of Homer and beyond. You also have the opportunity to buy ceramics to take home. And now, you can also create your own pottery masterpieces with schools like Clay Form Sculpture.
The workshops offered by the school cover techniques and theory, and are led by experienced professionals. Who knows? Maybe you’ll create something that will sit on display in a museum in two thousand years’ time.