Creative Corners City Guides

by Madam ZoZo

Creative Corners City Guides are a series of destination guides written for cultural travellers and creatives. We focus on the most inspiring local attractions featuring the best a city has to offer in the arts, architecture, design, culture, nature and style.

Chicago through a designer's eyes | Duende by Madam ZoZo

What to do in Chicago

Frank Sinatra sang “Bet your bottom dollar you lose the blues in Chicago, Chicago” – seems like a pretty solid recommendation. But don’t take Ol’ Blue Eyes word for it, after all, he also sang “In Chicago, Chicago my home town” and we all know he was a Jersey boy—so go check it out for yourself!

Top Things to do in Hanoi, Vietnam

Top Things to do in Hanoi, Vietnam

It’s no secret that Vietnam is one of my favourite places on the planet! From the moment we arrived in Hanoi, I was enamoured by the Indochine architecture, rich culture and unbelievable cuisine. After travelling from Ha Long Bay to the Mekong Delta, Hanoi remains my favourite city in this amazing country.

Brisbane, Australia, viewed from Kangaroo Point

What to do in Brisbane

Brisbane, the state capital of Queensland boasts a mild, subtropical climate and the channels the laid-back attitude that Australians are known for. Caught between tourist destinations, the Gold Coast and the Great Barrier Reef, Brisbane is often been overlooked as a destination in its own right. So what is there for an international visitor to do in Brisbane and its surrounds? Plenty.

Creative Corners - Things to do in Savannah | Duende by Madam ZoZo

Things to do in Savannah

Savannah, Georgia is the very definition of a picture-perfect town. Its charming architecture is arranged into an easily navigable grid of oak-shaded streets and squares. The town is a treasure trove of history, art and architecture for a curious and creative traveler to explore. Here I highlight things to do in Savannah for travelers with an eye for beauty and appetite for culture.

What to do on the Gold Coast

If you’ve ever seen images of Australia’s stunning white sand beaches, there’s a high chance some of those pics were snapped at the Gold Coast. The Gold Coast’s hot summers, mild winters, magnificent beaches and lush hinterland have made it a holiday spot for locals and international visitors for decades.

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Creative Corners: What to do in Sydney with 3-day Suggested Itinerary

What to do in Sydney - 3-Day Itinerary

Sydney is full of iconically Aussie experiences an international traveler would want to enjoy. From landmark architecture and historic sights to world-class beaches and national parks –  here’s what to do in Sydney.

Creative Corners - How to spend 72-hours in Melbourne

72-Hours in Melbourne

Experiencing the world’s most liveable city in 72-hours can be tricky. Melbourne can’t be wrapped up in a few big attractions, its charm is in the everyday lifestyle and local culture. Here is how to get the best of it.


Things to do in Detroit

“Why?” was the first question many people asked when I told them I was going to Detroit for a long weekend. It’s undeniable that the crime statistics and news reports are off-putting. However, if you know anything about Detroit’s glory days, you’ll suspect that there is still some duende in this city, and you’d be right. After a three days exploring whatMotor City has to offer, here are my top picks for things to do in Detroit.

Creative Corners - 24 hours in Quito | Duende by Madam ZoZo

24-Hours in Quito

It took me a mere 24 hours in Quito to fall in love with the Ciudad de los Cielos (City of the Heavens). I wish I had more time to spend exploring the Ecuadorian capital, that flies low under the tourist radar and doesn’t make most bucket lists. Like many travellers, for me Quito was a gateway to the Galapagos Islands. I had no idea I would become so smitten with the city and intrigued by broader Ecuador during my short stopover. I can’t wait to return, but in the meantime here are some of my favourite moments in art, architecture, artisans and ice cream from my 24 hours in Quito.

Rainbow Bridge - Tokyo | Creative Corners - Where to go in Tokyo

Where to go in Tokyo

With a leisurely 10 days to explore Tokyo I covered a lot of ground, and uncovered plenty of inspiration. I’ve written before about how impressed I was at the attention the Japanese give to the smallest details from the cherry blossom motifs decorating the city’s utility covers, to delicately formed sushi rolls and manicured gardens. To my joy, every street I ventured down and even dreaded public bathrooms, were clean and neat as a pin. When it comes to sightseeing you’ll be spoilt for choice, but if you’re creatively inclined my – where to go in Tokyo – may help to narrow the field.

The Bund, Shanghai

Things to do in Shanghai

Shanghai isn’t the picture of ancient culture I expected from China. Unlike Beijing’s obvious historical legacies, evidence of Shanghai’s quaint, fishing village past is long buried beneath urban sprawl. Only the meandering Huangpu River is old enough to tell the city’s full history. Spending an entire week in Shanghai, I really got to spend some time with the city and here I share what to do in Shanghai for creative inspiration.

Things to do in Singapore - A Creative's Guide | Duende by Madam ZoZo

Things to do in Singapore

There are many things to love and hate about Singapore. On the positive side, it is extremely safe; for the most part squeaky clean; the tap water is drinkable; and English is one of its three official languages. This is why I joke that Singapore is “Asia for beginners!” The island nation has an extremely efficient airport and continually works to make itself more attractive to visitors.

16th St Bridge (David McCullough Bridge)

Things to do in Pittsburgh

After returning from Australia in January, my February excursion was scheduled as a road trip to Pittsburgh. The weekend getaway got nudged into early March due to some important sights that were closed over the coldest winter months. Therefore my first tip for Pittsburgh is plan your visit for warm weather. There is plenty to explore in Steel City, so I have narrowed them down to my weekend essential things to do in Pittsburgh for creatives and culture lovers.

Creative Corners - How to Spend a Weekend in Indianapolis

Things to do in Indianapolis

Spend a weekend in Indianapolis discovering the motor history, creativity and culture that keeps “Indy” firing. Beyond the famous race circuit is a city filled with history and art to uncover. Pack your walking shoes, because much of Indy is a city best experienced by foot – when you’re not in an Indy car that is!

Neon signs of Beale Street, Memphis at night

Things to do in Memphis

Memphis is known as the “Birthplace of Rock’n’roll” and “Home of the Blues,” so there must be some serious creative energy in this city, right? Some duende? Definitely. This leaves a lot of things to do in Memphis, from exploring the musical heritage to the significant events of the Civil Rights movement that took place there. The following are my top picks for history, culture, architecture and music. If you’re looking for street art, and you know there is some, check out last week’s post by clicking here.

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