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The best entertainment venues around the world

The best places in the world to enjoy the show.

Sometimes the place where you see a show or sporting event can be as crucial to the experience as the event itself. An impressive venue can make a night out memorable in ways that seeing a great performance in a mediocre space cannot. The best entertainment venues are architecturally impressive and many have a long and distinguished history. Excellent service, stunning views, and incredible acoustics are some of the other qualities that make the best entertainment venues around the world worth the time and expense of the travel.

The garden of delight

Madison Square Garden in New York is one of the most iconic multi-purpose entertainment venues in the world, and any act that performs there knows that they are the best in their chosen field. As the old joke goes, how do you get to Madison Square Garden? Practice! In fact, you can head to 7th and 8th Avenues in Midtown, where you’ll find the Garden atop Pennsylvania Station.

The Garden is home to the New York Rangers hockey team and the New York Knicks basketball team, but it also hosts music, theatre, boxing, wrestling and circus events. Notable music acts to have performed at the 20,000-seater arena include Elton John (64 times), Bruce Springsteen (47 times), Madonna (31 times) and U2 (25 times), as well as Led Zeppelin and Elvis Presley, who played his only New York shows there in 1972.

A wonder in the southern hemisphere

Sydney Opera House in New South Wales, Australia is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is also one of the great wonders of the modern world. Designed by Danish architect Jørn Utzon, the Opera House opened in 1973 and has since hosted more than 1000 performances every year. It’s not just for opera and theatre fans, classical and pop/rock music concerts also take place at this magnificent venue. The main concert hall has 2679 seats, but there are also five smaller theatres, a recording studio and an outdoor forecourt that can also be used for performances. In 1978 rock band Thin Lizzy played on the venue’s steps, and in 2000 the Opera House hosted the Olympic opening ceremony.

The casino of dreams

Gaming enthusiasts that are looking for the best casinos around the world have two major destinations on their bucket lists: Las Vegas and Macau, China. In Vegas, the most extravagant casino on the strip has to be the Bellagio. Check out the fountain show immediately outside before entering the casino’s palatial interior, with its glass ceiling hand-sculpted by renowned artist Dale Chihuly.

A full range of table games is on offer, including roulette, blackjack, baccarat, and poker. If you haven’t played before it is best to brush up on your skills online before you travel. The long-established and respected internet casino provider 888casino has several excellent sites where you can play online roulette so that by the time you hit the Bellagio you’ll exude the confidence of an experienced player. A word of warning though; don’t hit the poker rooms unless you’re highly skilled or have money to lose, as you are likely to come up against some of the best players in the world.

Size matters

Over on the other side of the world, the Venetian Macao is the largest casino in the world, and is arguably the most spectacular. Situated in a 39-story hotel on the Cotai Strip, the casino itself covers 550,000 square feet of floor space and has 3400 slot machines plus 800 gaming tables. There are four themed rooms: Golden Fish, Imperial House, Red Dragon and Phoenix. Premium guests can enjoy the exclusive Paiza Club with its private gaming rooms, but even ordinary visitors to the main casino will feel like royalty as they wander around this vast golden palace with its high, classically painted ceilings and stunning architectural features.

World sports

Soccer fans should head to the home of arguably the world’s best team- FC Barcelona in the Catalan region of Spain. Camp Nou opened in 1957 and has been an Olympic venue as well as hosting two UEFA Champions’ League finals. It’s Europe’s largest stadium, with a capacity of over 100,000, and when Barca plays at home the atmosphere is electric, with the cry of “Independencia!” rising precisely 17 minutes and 14 seconds into each half, to mark Catalonia’s loss of independence in 1714. Even if there isn’t a game on, the official FC Barcelona Museum is a must-see, and it’s a wonderful opportunity to walk onto the pitch and also to view the changing rooms.

Quintessentially English

Perhaps surprisingly, the UK’s most iconic sports venue isn’t one of its soccer stadiums but the home of British lawn tennis at Wimbledon. The All England Lawn Tennis Club, to give it its official name, is located in south London and attracts A-list celebrities and royalty each summer to watch the action on the center court. Strawberries and cream, accompanied by a glass of Pimm’s, are of course essential. Suitably equipped you’ll not only be able to watch tennis being played at the highest level, but you’ll also enjoy what is perhaps the quintessential English sporting experience.

Impressive theatres

The Tampa Theatre in Florida is one of the most elaborate in the world, with a 900 pipe Wurlitzer organ and the effect of a star-dappled night sky created by the use of 99 embedded lightbulbs. The interior is all stucco flowers, curlicues, and gargoyles. The work of architect John Eberson at his most visionary and self-indulgent.

At the other end of the scale, Cornwall’s Minack Theatre is an open-air clifftop theatre on the UK’s south-western tip. This relatively modest amphitheater is nevertheless extremely atmospheric and evokes thoughts of Arthurian myth and legend as you watch Shakespearian performances against a backdrop of crashing waves and open skies.

When traveling around the world, there are many magnificent venues to visit hosting every kind of entertainment. Whatever your tastes there is sure to be a venue that will leave you open-mouthed in wonder.

Key points

  • A great venue can make a great experience in its own right
  • Madison Square Garden is the place to see some of the world’s biggest stars
  • Sydney Opera House is one of the great architectural wonders of the modern world, and isn’t only used for opera performances
  • The opulence of the great casinos is as much a part of the experience as playing at the tables or slots
  • Sports venues like Camp Nou and Wimbledon give you a taste of the national character
  • Sometimes an incredible theatre can steal the show
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