Tag - Museums

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Purple Tips: Top 5 things-to-do in Cancun
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Amazing Days Out: Pig Museum Stuttgart
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Purple 10 really weird museums
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Purple 10: The Best Museums and Galleries Rome
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Amazing Days Out: Mexico’s Underwater Sculpture Park
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Purple 10: holidays for art lovers

Purple Tips: Top 5 things-to-do in Cancun

Cancun: Welcome to the ''City of two Tales''

Welcome to the ”City of two Tales”

Cancun can be one of your favorite places in Mexico, because it has everything you’d want: shopping and limitless water-sports, spa centres and amazing sandy beaches. Here, you can be spoilt for choice: luxurious resorts, mouthwatering goodies, unparalleled natural beauty & the famous Mayan ruins! Although Cancún is a magnet for young people, families are drawn to the pristine beaches and children’s activities including theme parks and amazing dolphin programs. Our purple travel wanderers unveil you the best of Cancun!

Let’s start our journey

Endless imposing beaches

Ultimate fun at Playa Delfines

Ultimate fun at Playa Delfines

Sipping on a refreshing Cosmo and splashing in the #Caribbean Sea. There are endless beach areas which can truly take your breath away, each one stands out because of its undeniable beautys. As for your next Caribbean getaway, here are the places we recommend so you can get the very best Cancun experience.

Playa Delfines
One of Cancun’s largest beaches, where you can see plenty of jet skiers and parasailers!

Playa Forum
Located in the famous Punta Cancun area, Playa Forum (or Playa Gaviota Azul) is the city’s most popular beach too. If you like a beach with a fun vibe, this is the place to be. Hang out on the sand or enjoy a more upscale experience at  Mandala Beach Club.

Playa Tortugas
It is a popular choice for families and locals. There is an oceanfront restaurant, a picturesque marina and a bungee tower over the water if you’re feeling a bit more adventurous.

Diving & snorkeling is a must

Snorkeling & Diving in Cancun

Exploring the divine marine world

The infinite Mesoamerican Barrier Reef begins just off the coast of Cancun. An unforgetable experience await you with an awe-inspiring dive, an underwater exploration can lead you to an epic backdrop of looming caves and vibrant reefs, delve into underground rivers, peek into ancient shipwrecks and even browse underwater art! Whether you’re interested in natural splendors or prefer to seek historic relics, there are plenty of dive tours available throughout the year to guide you to the immeasurable underwater beauty of Cancun.

MUSA Underwater Museum

MASA Underwater Museum

MASA Underwater Museum

This bizzare museum features more than 500 underwater sculptures off the coast of Cancun. “Bodies”, heads in the sand, fill every corner… The artwork is as part of a major project called “The Silent Evolution.” The installation is the first endeavor of a new underwater museum called MUSA, which combines contemporary art with reef conservation.

Cenote Dos Ojos
Enter the underground rivers and caves of the Yucatan Peninsula through a natural spring found only here. Cenote Dos Ojos, or as they call it ”Two Eyes”, is named after the double rivers that come together. Located about two hours south of Cancun, it is the deepest known cave passage in the region.

Don’t miss a Day Trip

You know that something amazing and unexpected lies ahead… The breathtaking Caribbean is home to charming seaside villages, unmarked swaths of white sand beaches and mysterious ancient history.
On your next #Cancun vacation, make sure to set aside at least one day to step outside the resort and discover some of the region’s nearby attractions. Rent a car, grab a bicycle or board a ferry and embark on one of these amazing day trips.

Isla Mujeres

Isla Mujeres Mexico

We discovered heaven on earth!

This Caribbean island is only a 20-minute ferry ride from Cancun, You can rent a golf cart for the day to tour the island and visit the tortugranja, or as they call it ”turtle farm”, to watch cute baby turtles (Green Sea Turtles, Loggerheads). Head back to downtown Isla Mujeres for a Mexican delicious lunch followed by an afternoon swimming at Playa Norte.

Playa del Carmen
The beach city of Playa del Carmen, known by locals as the Playa, is a vibrant place for a day of swimming and fine dining! Spend your morning exploring Mexico’s 5th Avenue, Quinto Avenida, a charming street with some of the region’s best shopping.

Buzzy Nightlife
Life in Cancun can be a never-ending party! The Glistening City’s most well known hotspots are among the best on the planet.

Coco Bongo
If you only choose one nightclub during your vacation, make sure it’s Coco Bongo. Cancun’s best and most famous nightclub is known for an over-the-top acrobatics show and celebrity impersonators

The City
The biggest nightclub in Latin America hosts live concerts and the world’s best DJs, as well as the most crazy glow and foam parties…

What are you waiting for? Keep up the Cancun spirit!

 

Amazing Days Out: Pig Museum Stuttgart

You’d be forgiven for thinking we’ve gone a bit piggy, what with our bacon beach post, but it seems we’re not alone. Read on for this amazing day out: The Pig Museum Stuttgart. Fun for a couples city break adventure, or just something a bit different (really different, if you ask us!)

Pig-museum-stuttgart-3

Pig Museum via @ Wikicommons

The Pig Museum is a surreal collection of over 50,000 exhibits from all over the world to introduce you to the piggiest experience of your life. The SchweineMuseum on Schlachtofstraße 2A, 70188 Stuttgart offers visitors 25 themed rooms to explore featuring all things porcine. There are (stuffed) pigs to cuddle, representation of pigs in the arts as well as the science of pigs, from their anatomy, how little piglets are made as well as the history of the creatures. The kitsch art and culture is sure to win over grown ups, while kids can enjoy the stuffed animals and myths and legends surrounding pigs.

Pic museum 2 from Purple Travel

Pig museum germanyImages via @ Wikicommons @ dhaun & @ Stuttgart Tourism

Meanwhile, if all this porky talk is making your mouth water (vegetarians look away now!) then you won’t bat an eyelid at the museum’s setting; in a former slaughterhouse. After exploring the piggery, a huge beer garden awaits, with tasty treats like knuckle of pork, grilled suckling pig and many more pork delicacies.

There’s more information on pricing and how to get to the Pig Museum Germany on their website here.

To make your visit extra special, you’ll be pleased to hear there’s a theme song to bring you through the museum, altogether now:

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Purple 10 really weird museums

A spy museum, all you’ve ever wanted to know about toilets and real life samples from Big Foot, we’ve got 10 really weird museums from around the world for your pleasure.

museum mosaic 1

  1. Want to become a spy? Actually, can we just ask, who doesn’t? Well, now you can, for a day anyway, at the International Spy Museum in Washington DC, USA. We’re talking gadgets, code breaking and generally being a bit James Bond as you learn about the history of secret agents and get to grips with a life of espionage.
  2. Iceland’s Phallological Museum in Reykjavik, is as the name suggests all about biology and takes it very seriously too. It is home to a collection of more than 215 penis specimens from various mammals found in the wild all over the island including a walrus, a rogue polar bear, a whale. There are also four examples from humans, but we didn’t ask where they came from.
  3. We always hear of the priceless art found in countless cities throughout the world, but what about the bad stuff? The Museum of Bad Art in Boston claims to be the only one of its kind in the world. Featuring art that’s ‘too bad to be ignored’ it features plenty of paintings of dodgy blue people, symbols that don’t mean much and some weird uses of nudity.
  4. For all you’ve ever wanted to know about the humble toilet, you could do worse than the International Museum of Toilets in New Delhi. The curators tell us: ‘the toilet is a part of the history of human hygiene which is a critical chapter in the growth of civilisation.’
  5. Athens is well known for its museums filled with thousands of years of artefacts that document the birthplace of science and democracy. We like the Tactual Museum, where you’re actively encouraged to touch everything. There are all kinds of replicas, statues and frescoes that you can get up close and personal with.
  6. The Hair Museum of Avanos in Cappadocia, Turkey is a fairly simple idea, but definitely one of the most bizarre things you’ll see. In a room under an unassuming pottery shop, you’ll find caves covered with a collection of over 16,000 locks of hair from women from all over the world. It’s free to enter, and women can leave a lock of their own if they want.
  7. For the latest information and conjecture on the likes of Big Foot, the Montauk Monster, or the Abominable Snowman, then the Cryptozoology Museum, in Portland, USA is a good place to start. It claims to have ‘actual samples’ of hair and unique pieces of evidence from mythical creatures from all over the world.
  8. Your green fingers will start tingling when you hear about the British Lawnmower Museum. As you would expect, it’s dedicated to all things grass cutting and is home to specialised gardening machines, vintage lawnmowers and all manner of parts and conservation materials from all over the world. A truly British experience.
  9. If you’ve got a weak stomach, it might be best to skip the Paris Sewer Museum. You’re guided through the tunnels and pummelled by historical and factual information about the famous underground areas that have featured in French literature including Les Miserables and Phantom Of The Opera.
  10. Love chips? So do we and so do the Belgians apparently, if the Friet Museum is anything to go by. The ground floor offers a 10,000 year potted history of the humble spud and it’s development into the tasty chip we know and love today.

You should read… Amazing Days Out: Pig Museum Stuttgart

Purple 10: The Best Museums and Galleries Rome

If you’re off on a city break to Rome, don’t spend the time ‘fiddling while Rome burns’, instead discover the art beat of the capital. In this of the ten best museums and galleries in Rome, you’ll journey from a Renaissance palace to Mussolini’s cinema studio…. Enjoy the best museums and galleries Rome from Purple Travel.

The Borghese Gallery

The original sculptures and paintings in the Borghese Gallery date back to Cardinal Scipione’s collection, the son of Ortensia Borghese , Paolo V’s sister. Cardinal Scipion was drawn to any works of ancient, Renaissance and contemporary art which might re-evoke a ‘golden age’. In the Borghese, you will find a whole array of antique sculpture and painting, housed a grand villa, whose architectural features are to be attributed above all to Flaminio Ponzio, an extraordinary architect in whom the Pope and the cardinal placed absolute trust.

Macro: Museo d’Arte Contemporanea

Nestled among 19th-century apartment blocks, the Macro is the newer and bigger of two spaces that combine to make up Rome’s municipal contemporary art museum (the other is in Testaccio). The main part of the museum was created by the French architect, Odile Decq from a disused Peroni beer plant. Providing a home for the postmodern painter and collagist Mario Schifano, Macro aims to be a more daring and controversial version of Maxxi (the National Museum of Art from the 21st Century). Take the toilets for example, which have mirrored walls and translucent plastic sinks that flash different neon colours as you use them.

Palazzo Altemps

Palazzo Altemps

Palazzo Altemps is a Renaissance palace opened as a museum in 1997. It remains one of the capital’s best-kept secrets, with a beguiling collection of classical sculptures. They include the Ludovisi Ares, a Roman copy of a 4th-century BCE Greek original, and the Ludovisi Gaul, part of the same group. But for sheer technical genius,  visitors should see the 3rd-century sarcophagus, carved from a single block of stone, showing the Romans fighting the Ostrogoths – it is known as the Grande Ludovisi.

CineCittà Studios

Cinecittà Studios was founded by Mussolini and due to this, the studio and set complex was bombed by the Allies in the Second World War. However in the ‘50s, the Studios became highly famous when they were used to make a series of costly classical epics, including Ben-Hur and Cleopatra. The 40-hectare site, which is claimed to be continental Europe’s largest film and TV production facility, was also where Federico Fellini shot most of his films.

Sant’Ignazio

The church of illusions was built between 1626 and 1650 and dedicated to Ignatius of Loyola. The trompe l’oeil ceiling mural by Andrea Pozzo  uses foreshortening to create a realistic vision of the founder of the Society of Jesus soaring towards paradise to be welcomed by Christ. A disk in the floor marks the ideal spot from which to experience the illusion.

Auditorium Parco della Musica

The Auditorium was designed by architect, Renzo Piano, who called his building a “factory of culture”. Its three concert halls, which stage all manner of productions, hold between 700 and 2,800 people. There is also the Cavea, an open-air theatre reminiscent of a classical amphitheatre, an art gallery and an archaeological museum within the building.

Santa Maria in Trastevere

The Basilica of Our Lady is one of Rome’s oldest churches, dating back to around 340 AD. It is thought to been the first church in Rome dedicated to Mary. In the nave are two rows of columns – 22 in all – that were taken from ancient Roman sites. Embellished with six mosaic panels of scenes from the life of Mary and a gilded octagonal ceiling painting by the Baroque master Domenichino,  the basilica is extraordinarily decadent.

Museo Nazionale dell’Alto Medioevo

This less visited museum displays finely decorated weapons, intricate tapestries and stunning earrings and necklaces. Other exhibits include an ancient metal dog chain and an entire hall, taken from an aristocratic villa in Ostia, adorned with designs created using a technique known as opus sectile in which coloured marble is cut and inlaid.

Ostia Antica

Visitors to Rome who try packing in a trip to Pompeii often leave disappointed by the neglect and disorganisation they find there. Ostia Antica, less than 30km from Rome and reachable by train, offers an altogether more civilised (and arguably more instructive) experience. This, after all, was the port city of the capital of Europe’s greatest empire. Scattered among the umbrella pines that now dot the site are a splendid amphitheatre which is still used for concerts, and the remains of schools, baths, temples and latrines, as well as Europe’s oldest synagogue. Ostia Antica also boasts some unusually well-preserved mosaics and frescoes.

Lorcan O'Neill Gallery

Galleria Lorcan O’Neill

Set in a Trastevere backstreet, Galleria Lorcan adds a touch of hip to an otherwise classical scene. O’Neill, has used his Britart connections to put on exhibitions by Tracey Emin, Sam Taylor-Wood and Rachel Whiteread. He has also shown venerable non-Brits including Anselm Kiefer and provided a space for talented young Italians like Luigi Ontani and Pietro Ruffo.

You should read… Purple 10 film inspired travel

Amazing Days Out: Mexico’s Underwater Sculpture Park

‘Museum’ probably isn’t the perfect word for the combination of art and nature you’ll find just off the Cancun coast. Holidays here are of course the stuff dreams are made of and for something really special we love a day at Mexico’s Underwater Sculpture Park. Sculptor Jason de Caires Taylor has installed hundreds of natural clay statues that will act as a reef to encourage coral and sealife growth.

The Cancun Underwater Museum acts as a restoration project, the statues have been built as artificial reefs to attract marine life and improve the natural reef that’s been damaged over the years. The displays are perfectly placed to attract glass bottomed boats, divers and snorkelers. Now 450 permanent life size sculptures make up one of the most ambitious and attractive underwater art works in the world.

Here are some of our favourites:

Man on Fire: This eerie sculpture was one of the first installed in 2009. It’s been cut with 75 holes, to allow fast growing fire coral to thrive. As the coral grows it will begin to bloom red, hence the name Man on Fire. It’s actually been cast from a local fisherman named Joachim and is meant to reflect the current world environmental situation.

The Banker: The meaning of this one is fairly clear cut. A suited man has his head buried in the sand. What’s that phrase, a picture paints a thousand words? Well this sculpture paints a lot more. It symbolizes the current economic crisis and the accountability of banking institutions. The sculpture itself is made for crustaceans and young fish to grow and breed.

The Silent Evolution: In the shape of an eye and the newest addition, this is an underwater village of hundreds of life size sculptures, all cast from local people. The silent museum takes you up, close and personal to view art in a way you may never have imagine. Like the others they’re made from special PH neutral clay to promote coral growth and life.

For more information visit the Aqua World Cancun website. You can find regular diving trips, including for beginners or certified.

All images courtesy of Aqua World Cancun.

Purple 10: holidays for art lovers

From the Greek Islands ancient art to the imposing Guggenheim museum in Bilbao, Spain, we take a look at the 10 best holidays for art lovers to impress and delight.


  1. Florence, Italy Home to the famous Uffizi Gallery, you can feel art flowing through the veins of Florence. Dating from the 16th century the museum houses the world’s most magnificent collection of Italian Art. Of course a stop in this stunning city wouldn’t be complete without visiting Michelangelo’s famous statue of David.
  2. Paris, France One of the best known museums in the world and home to masterpieces like the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo, the Louvre is a jaw dropper. But it’s not the only top class museum in the French Capital. The Musee d’Orsay is home to works by Degas, Renoir and Rodin while the Pompidou Centre houses classics by Picasso and Magritte.
  3. Bilbao, Spain You might recognise Bilbao from the imposing Guggenheim museum. An architectural wonder, its 32,500 food undulating walls and curves was designed by Frank Gehry. It is home to some of the most famous avant garde art in the world.
  4. Greek Islands A Greek Island art holiday is a wonderful way of getting lost in the culture, the beautiful landscape and the rich heritage. It makes a really relaxing getaway, perfect for relaxed painting excursions, eating like your life depends on it and creating wonderful memories.
  5. New York City The colours, the vibrant atmosphere, that whole feeling you get when you arrive in the Big Apple is different to anything before. It’s like a city built for art. There’s 5000 years of paintings, sculptures and exhibitions at The Met, (the Metropolitan Museum of Art) MoMA and the Guggenheim plus dozens if not hundreds of fashion, design and science museums to inspire you.
  6. Favara, Sicily This is a small town in the Italian island that’s been transformed from quaint to contemporary. Thanks to an initiative by the Farm Cultural Park  it’s seen an explosion in visitors from all over the world. Walls have been used as huge canvasses, sculptures and paintings dot the streets in a town where unemployment is rife.
  7. St Petersberg, Russia Museums in Russia have benefitted for centuries from the royal family’s love of art. You’ll find works from the big guns like Leonardo, Poussin and Picasso and everything in between. Not only famous for its art, it is home to a wealth of historical and cultural artefacts and is home to a buzzing contemporary art scene.
  8. Vatican City The architecture and Renaissance masterpieces of Vatican City have been inspiring people for generations. Michaelangelo’s Sistine Chapel and Raphael’s frescoes are probably the most well known in the collection of renowned art you’ll find in the tiny city. And, of course beyond the walls, you’ll find Rome stretching out below you, another art treasure trove.
  9. Barcelona, Spain The awe inspiring Sagrada Familia will surely make your jaw drop. The hugely detailed church has been under construction since 1882, with building work set to continue until 2026. Designed by architect Antoni Gaudi, it’s just one of his stamps that you’ll notice throughout the city. Park Guell, with its bright, mosaic sculptures will impress even the pickiest youngster; while a stroll through the streets of late night BCN will provide houses such as Casa Mila or Casa Batllo that look like they belong in museums instead of the street.
  10. Berlin, Germany One of the hippest places to get your art on, over the past 20 years, Berlin has grown to become one of the biggest names in contemporary art, exhibitions and architecture. Try the Berlinische Galerie, or the Sammlung Boros Collection (if you can get in there!) It’s also home to art throughout the ages. Museumsinsel, or Museum Island is the biggest complex in Europe and is home to five separate institutions.

You should read… Purple 10 film inspired holidays

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