AIA Architectural Adventures: Awesome architecture tours around the globe

Published on: July 17, 2017 | Last Updated on July 17, 2017
Belem Tower, Lisbon (Credit: Pixabay)
Belem Tower, Lisbon (Credit: Pixabay)

Belem Tower, Lisbon (Credit: Pixabay)

“Architectural Adventures” is a program launched by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) offering travelers with a passion for architecture the opportunity to embark on small group tours that engage with the past, present, and future of building and design—in some of the world’s greatest sites and cities.

The AIA Architectural Adventures program consists of a bespoke series of immersive, architecture-centered travel experiences featuring knowledgeable and engaging experts.

Not only do architecture enthusiasts get the chance to visit their dream destinations but they get to do so with small groups of like-minded travelers. This means travelers experience both a world-class vacation as well as a unique opportunity to learn about architecture in awe-inspiring places around the world.

In 2018, travelers will get to discover the architecture and culture of destinations including Miami, Eastern Europe, Japan, Germany, and a cruise from Lisbon to London.


Wow! Thank you for an incredible trip with perfectly planned lodging, great food & transportation that was lovingly coordinated by Alessandra. We received great insights into Palladio by experiencing his buildings with the benefit of Damiana’s expert views regarding his significance to architecture. Vicenza & Venice as lodging locations were fabulous & making new friends of our travel companions was the dolci…..a il prossimo viaggio!”

—Bill & Rita, Architectural Adventures travelers, Northern Italy’s Renaissance tour, May 2017

Here are five upcoming 2018 trips and one 2017 trip that has a few remaining spaces. All of them are sure to be of interest to travelers interested in architecture:

1) Miami

Art Deco District (Photo Credit: Cristo Vlahos, Wikimedia Commons)

Miami Art Deco District (Credit: Cristo Vlahos, Wikimedia Commons)

Miami Beach’s Art Deco District is the first 20th-century neighborhood to be recognized by the National Register of Historic Places, with 800 structures of historical significance, most built between 1923 and 1943. The fanciful pastel buildings, with porthole windows, ship-like railings, sleek curves, glass blocks, shiny chrome, and gleaming terrazzo floors are prime eye candy.

The first trip of 2018, “Miami – Architectural jewels under tropical skies,” features a walking tour through the vibrant streets of the famed Art Deco District of South Beach, and a closer look at some of the most creative contemporary architecture in Miami in the Design District, all while learning about South Florida’s historical heritage.

Tour dates: February 5-9, 2018

2) A Cruise from Lisbon to London

City of Culture, Santiago de Compostela, Spain (Credit: Photo by Manuel Vicent, Eisenman Architects)

City of Culture, Santiago de Compostela, Spain (Credit: Manuel Vicent, Eisenman Architects)

Located on Monte Gaiás, a small hill overlooking Santiago de Compostela, the City of Culture is a new cultural center for the Province of Galicia in northwestern Spain.

Participants will discover the lively cultural and architectural heritage of coastal Europe on a five-star cruise. From the cobbled streets of Portugal and the cathedrals of northern Spain to the hallowed beaches of Normandy and London’s iconic Tower Bridge, a once-in-a-lifetime trip awaits travelers along Europe’s stunning Atlantic shores.

The small group will visit the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Oporto, Santiago de Compostela, and Mont-St-Michel; tour the hallowed beaches of Normandy accompanied by Professor David Eisenhower (Dwight D. Eisenhower’s grandson); enjoy an exclusive tour of Santiago de Compostela’s City of Culture complex; and sail past the white cliffs of Dover en route to the River Thames and London.

Tour dates: April 30 – May 9, 2018; Now open for booking – learn more

3) Splendors of Eastern Europe

Budapest panorama with Hungarian Parliament Building

Budapest panorama with Hungarian Parliament Building

The Parliament building, is a magnificent example of Neo-Gothic architecture (although displaying Renaissance and Baroque characters too), is just over 100 years old. Construction began in 1885; it was inaugurated on the 1000th anniversary of Hungary in 1896, and fully completed in 1902.

On the Eastern Europe trip, participants will tour through five captivating nations with an architectural expert, including the great cities of Warsaw and medieval Krakow, grand Budapest, Old World Bratislava, proud Prague, and striking Vienna. Eastern Europe offers the chance to explore UNESCO sites such as Krakow’s medieval Old Town and the Wieliczka Salt Mines to snowcapped Tatra Mountains and Budapest, the “Paris of the East” on the Danube.

Tour dates: May 8-26, 2018 

4) Bauhaus and Beyond

Bauhaus Dessau Museum - AIA Architectural Adventures

Bauhaus Dessau Museum

The building was designed by the founder of the Bauhaus, Walter Gropius, and commissioned by the city of Dessau. Gropius designed the various sections of the building differently, separating them consistently according to function. He positioned the wings asymmetrically; the form of the complex can thus be grasped only by moving around the building. There is no central view.

This tour will allow participants to experience the legendary Bauhaus on the brink of its 100th anniversary in Germany. Founded in Weimar by Walter Gropius in 1919, then relocated to Dessau in 1925 and closed in Berlin, the Bauhaus school of design only existed for 14 years, but it is arguably the world’s most influential school of design, having revolutionized 20th century art and architecture the world over. The group will learn about the legacy and impact of this innovative movement by viewing the original Bauhaus buildings, museums, and exhibitions.

Tour dates: September 21-30, 2018

5) Japan’s Allure

Hokan-ji Temple colloquially known as Yasaka-no-to, Kyoto, Japan

Hokan-ji Temple, colloquially known as Yasaka-no-to, Kyoto, Japan

It is a 46-meter tall pagoda with graceful, sloping roofs on each tier, which lies in the middle of an old Kyoto neighborhood, between Kiyomizu-dera Temple and Yasaka-jinja Shrine. It is one of the unexpected treasures that reward the person on a casual stroll through the Higashiyama District.

Another truly fascinating land of rich traditions and dizzying modernity is Japan. Journey through Tokyo and marvel at the Shinto Meiji Shrine and historic Imperial Palace to the Buddhist Asakusa Kannon, the city’s oldest temple; and Ginza, Tokyo’s famed entertainment district. In Kanazawa, tour famed Kenrokuen Garden and see the Nagamachi Samurai district where samurai warriors lived. The last three days of the tour will be in Kyoto, Japan’s Imperial Capital for a millennium. A true gem with more than 1,600 temples, three imperial palaces, artful gardens, and preserved wooden architecture, Kyoto embodies Japan’s rich culture and complex history.

Tour dates: October 27- November 8, 2018

6) New Orleans

Jackson Square - New Orleans

Jackson Square, New Orleans

Visit Jackson Square and the significant buildings that surround it: St. Louis Cathedral, the Cabildo, the Presbytère and the Pontalba buildings – one of the great urban ensembles in the country.

For those looking for a tour in 2017, spots are still open on the New Orleans trip where travelers, will discover the magnificent architecture and rich cultural heritage of New Orleans on an exclusive, five-day tour with Architectural Adventures. From the famous Creole Townhouses and Cottages in the French Quarter and the spectacular homes in the Garden District to post-Katrina sustainable neighborhoods and some of the most important contemporary structures in the city, participants will experience the myriad of architectural gems of the Crescent City. An Architectural Adventures expert will guide the group on this exclusive exploration of the past, present, and future of New Orleans.

Tour dates: October 22-27, 2017


Contact Architectural Adventures at 1-800-293-5725

With AIA Architectural Adventures, travelers explore both the past and present of the world around them. Spaces fill up quickly. Don’t miss out on new tour announcements and their opening dates.

Sign up for future tour email updates.

Disclosure: This sponsored post was prepared by the American Institute of Architects to appeal to the readers of More Time To Travel who are interested in the confluence of architecture and travel.

  • Reply
    Marilyn Jones
    July 25, 2017 at 11:04 pm

    What a great idea! AIA Architectural Adventures would interest not only travelers interested in architecture, but culture as well. Very interesting concept.

    • Reply
      Irene S. Levine
      July 27, 2017 at 9:57 am

      Would love to pick the brain of an architect in many cities!

  • Reply
    michele h peterson
    July 26, 2017 at 12:29 pm

    Some great choices here! I’ve never heard of AIA Architectural Adventures but the combination of culture and architecture sounds like a very interesting experience.

    • Reply
      Irene S. Levine
      July 27, 2017 at 9:58 am

      Yes…and every architectural project seems to embody history!

  • Reply
    Jane Canapini
    July 26, 2017 at 8:54 pm

    I love this kind of tour, and would love to see even more destinations included with this focus on architecture. Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply
    Kristin Henning
    July 26, 2017 at 9:14 pm

    Thanks, Irene. These architectural tours are right up our alley. We\’re due for a return to New Orleans…and Santiago\’s City of Culture building is new since our last visit. We\’ll keep an eye on the AIA tours.

    • Reply
      Irene S. Levine
      July 27, 2017 at 9:59 am

      I’ve never been to Santiago’s City of Culture building. Hope I get there too!

  • Reply
    Cathy Sweeney
    July 28, 2017 at 3:52 pm

    These AIA Architectural Adventures tours look like they\’re right up my alley. Would love to take any of them. The Bauhaus would be very interesting. And of course, the Eastern Europe tour — the Hungarian Parliament is absolutely stunning.

  • Reply
    Sue reddel
    July 29, 2017 at 7:15 pm

    These AIA tours sound amazing. I just love experiencing all the architecture and art when visiting a destination. This looks like a terrific way to do just that.

  • Reply
    alison abbott
    July 30, 2017 at 9:38 pm

    What an interesting idea that would appeal to so many different types of travelers. I would be thrilled to take one of the AIA tours in any of the cites offered. I was able to visit Havana with a behind the scenes look given by an architect and city planner. Changed everyone’s perspective and gave us such great insight.

    • Reply
      Irene S. Levine
      August 1, 2017 at 3:25 pm

      I had a similar experience in the Miami historic district. Art and architecture make a place come alive!

  • Reply
    Lauren M
    June 26, 2018 at 10:11 pm

    I loved visiting Lisbon, Portugal and seeing the Belem Tower and many other wonderful places such as the tomb of Vasco Da Gama in the Jerónimos Monastery, Lisbon, Portugal.

    • Reply
      Irene S. Levine
      June 26, 2018 at 10:31 pm

      I agree! The Belem Tower and all of Lisbon was quite spectacular.These AIA tours sound great!

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