Embark on an electrifying journey of destinations that are sure to widen the horizons of your mind.
There are places in the world that can give you a sensation of a trippy ride even without any substances. Welcome to the weird universe of hallucinatory labyrinths, phantasmagorical apartments, colorful kaleidoscopes, consciousness-expanding art pieces, and mesmerizing light effects. Some of these spots are mind-altering by design, others possess the qualities that can easily make a sane person expand his mind a little. All of them are bizarrely exciting. And you surely don’t have to take anything in order to enjoy the experiences.
Let us take you on a wild and thrilling journey to the most psychedelic destinations in the world. Just don’t let the spiraling rollercoaster get off-hand in the process.
Top Picks for You
Magowan's Infinite Mirror Maze
WHERE: San Francisco, California
What can be a better psychedelic experience than getting lost in an endless color-changing maze? You can do just that in the city that hosted 1967’s Summer of Love inside an unpretentious building in San Francisco Bay’s Pier 39. Created by Yale psychology graduate Charles Magowan, the maze in question is a cool 2,000-square-foot attraction that boasts 77 mirrors and is guaranteed to make you trippy without any drugs involved. You will get lost in the labyrinth of reflections to a fitting ‘80s soundtrack accompanied by flashy neon lights. A great activity both for acid-nostalgic adults and fun-seeking kids, Magowan’s Infinite Mirror Maze is definitely a go-to place for those who want a thrilling and disorienting sensory journey.
INSIDER TIPWhile in San Francisco don’t miss the iconic Golden Gate Park where the Summer of Love took place in 1967.
WHERE: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Central Northside would be another sleepy neighborhood of Pittsburgh save for one fact, Randyland is there. With an explosion of colors set among the strict historic row houses, the art initiative is a psychedelic sight to behold. This vivid museum was tirelessly created by Randy Gilson, a local artist who is responsible for the revitalization of the neighborhood community parks and spaces using found art, funky murals, and vintage furniture. Step inside this bizarre home-turned-museum to find a chaotic stream of artistic thought at every corner of the house, the garden, and the interiors. Over the years, Randyland has become one of the favorite Instagram spots of the locals and tourists that were lured by its positive energy and psychedelic appeal.
WHERE: Washington, D.C.
Located only more than a mile away from Capitol Hill, Washington’s Culture House feels worlds apart. A true jewel of the otherwise greyish Southwest neighborhood, this institution is a community arts center set in a building of a former Friendship Baptist Congregation church. And yes, today it’s painted in vivid colors looking completely alien to the surroundings. The huge psychedelic mural was done by the Atlanta-based painter HENSE for the inauguration of the current incarnation of the building as a multifunctional art venue that is serving the community and invites collaborations. Inside, the rave goes on, the hallways and rooms of the center are all brightly painted oozing with the bohemian atmosphere and perfect for art consumption.
WHERE: Mount Tremper, New York
The infinite loop of colors and frames was a perfect fit for the acid-obsessed ’60s. But one thing is looking inside the child’s toy, another is visiting an actual gigantic kaleidoscope set in the former grain silo and experiencing it in action. New York state is proud to have the biggest one in the world. Designed by the sixties’ psychedelic artist Isaac Abrams and his son, Kaatskill Kaleidoscope is definitely a draw for those looking for unparalleled visionary experiences. Currently, the Guinness World Records-awarded venue hosts three mind-blowing shows that are perfect to lose yourself to the vivid game of light and shape. Better observed LSD-free, of course.
INSIDER TIPSecret Caverns in Howes Cave would be a great idea for a day trip from New York City if you’re into subterranean labyrinths with underground waterfalls and psychedelic folk art.
Biblioteca Miguel Lerdo de Tejada
WHERE: Mexico City, Mexico
Set in the heart of the Historical Center of the City of Mexico, Biblioteca Miguel Lerdo de Tejada is a typical library that occupies a beautiful 18th-century building. Step inside and you’ll be astonished to find gargantuan psychedelic frescoes that have taken over the walls of the institution spanning over 21,527 square feet. This monumental work of art is a magnum opus of Russian-Mexican artist Vlady called La Revolución y Los Elementos (The Revolution and the Elements). Praised by the Beat Generation prophet Allen Ginsberg, this ambitious oeuvre of the muralismo movement is a must-visit site for all the psychedelic enthusiasts and art buffs alike. Because what can be weirder than the sight of academicians studying and working under the trippy paintings in silence.
Electric Ladyland: The Museum of Fluorescent Art
WHERE: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Fluorescent art is king at this tiny Amsterdam venue located a stone’s throw away from Anne Frank’s house. The museum was created by Nick Padalino, an artist and the human embodiment of the rebellious spirit of the sixties. He will be your guide through the exciting wonders of the fluorescence where everything sparks, glows, radiates, and changes colors. You will have a chance to take part in a “participatory art” session taking time to explore this peculiar space of everchanging gleaming by pressing various buttons, initiating effects, and taking lots of dimmed photos in between.
Jheronimus Bosch Art Center
WHERE: 's-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands
For some ancient psychedelia head to the Dutch heartland city of ‘s-Hertogenbosch. Apart from being a picture-perfect town of canals, medieval architecture, and giant profiterole called Bossche Bol, it is also a hometown of world-known Early Netherlandish painter Hieronymus Bosch. The one who, among other things, drew the celebrated triptych called The Garden of Earthly Delights featuring a plethora of nightmare-inducing creatures doing unexplainable horrific things. Well, the local Jheronimus Bosch Art Center materializes the demons from artists’ paintings in the form of gigantic statues. All of it in a peaceful setting of an old church. Also, you have a chance to learn more about the man himself taking a tour through this excellent art venue. Just know that your nightmares might get an upgrade afterward.
WHERE: Copenhagen, Denmark
There is a paradox in the heart of Copenhagen. A city of utmost cleanliness, everpresent hygge (Danish philosophy of coziness), and moderate-everything is the last place in the world where you’d expect something like Freetown Christiania. Yet, here it is, a strange and virtually self-governing city-within-the-city. Located on the former premises of military barracks, Christiania lives according to its own rules and is separated from tidy Copenhagen by a series of bridges, Freetown is covered in colorful murals and street art Rules include no cars, no violence, and a lax-ish marijuana stance. A must-visit while in the Danish capital, this bizarre neighborhood is the closest humanity got to making the hippie utopia from the Summer of Love real.
Happy Rizzi House
WHERE: Berlin, Germany
Juxtaposition is the best friend of psychedelic art and US pop artist James Rizzi used it to the full extent in his legendary Happy Rizzi House in the middle of the old Berlin neighborhood of Braunschweig. Once you stumble upon this extravagant orchestra of colors it takes you by surprise, the rest of the neighborhood is strict and classic. Looking like Cartoon Network animation on acid, the house is a tourist favorite and a snack for the color-seeking eyes. Currently, it serves as an office building hence it’s closed for visits. But don’t worry, the exterior is sure to give you the yearly dose of radiant architecture.
INSIDER TIPAs the vaccination campaign progresses, the famous clubs of the German capital return too in the city that basically created the whole thing.
WHERE: Vienna, Austria
It seemed as though the earth had started moving, the lines of the house became asymmetrical and everything went into some kind of a warp. This would be an accurate description of being at Hundertwasserhaus, an iconic apartment complex in Vienna. Uneven, crooked, and unpredictable, this work of visionary Austrian architect Friedensreich Hundertwasser looks as if a chaotic artist sketch was envisioned in real life. Inspired by the ideas of environmentalism and driven by the opposition to the “straight line” conventional approach, the architect created a truly unique building with plenty of phantasmagoric details, different designs of facades, trees growing out of the windows, and the rooftop covered in grass and earth. Although it drew a lot of criticism for its looks, the house has become one of the symbols of Vienna and an ultimate psychedelic destination.
INSIDER TIPVisit the Hundertwasser Village store right opposite the Hundertwasserhaus, a quirky collection of shops and bars in the architect’s trademark style open to visitors.
It is easy to find yourself in some kind of twisted extraterrestrial forest of unnatural proportions while standing inside this fascinating church. One of the most ambitious religious construction projects in the world, Sagrada Família in Barcelona is Antoni Gaudí’s masterpiece that is yet to be finished. Also, it is his most daring creation with its grandiose proportions, a fascinating mix of Gothic and Art Nouveau, eight already built spires (with ten more in the works), and an untamed force of imagination that allowed something like this to appear in the heart of Barcelona in the first place. Sagrada Família is undeniably psychedelic too, the whimsical lines and uneven shapes make it seem like the whole building is put through some kind of a lava lamp filter. Except everything is very real and you can lose yourself exploring the result of Gaudí’s unrestricted genius.
INSIDER TIPWith the latest legalization of marijuana in Barcelona, you can shop at one of the numerous “asociaciones cannábicas” of the Catalan capital.
WHERE: Las Vegas, Nevada
Not everything is what it seems at Omega Mart, an amusing experimental art project by the Meow Wolf company. Located in Las Vegas, the capital of mind-altering escapades popularized by the likes of Hunter S. Thompson, this faux-grocery store is everything a psychedelic aficionado can ask for. There are hidden doors that lead to mysterious passages, light tunnels ending with the slides, hallucinatory installations, and lots of custom-created art. The whole thing is thoroughly crafted to give the most immersive experience. You can live your own Stranger Things-inspired adventure except here it will also feel like a little bit of LSD was involved too.
WHERE: Kutaisi, Georgia
You’re in the neon-lit cave walking among the weirdly shaped boulders, stalactites and stalagmites emerge and disappear into the darkness, all of it to the distant accompaniment of classical music. It’s not a trippy fever dream, it’s a regular tour of the Prometheus Cave, a thrilling underground attraction in the Imereti region of Georgia. While there are many caves in the world, this one utilizes a game of sound and light to enhance the feel of the subterranean and does it in the most psychedelic way that would draw furor from the crowd that is into these kinds of things. Legend has it that the Greek Titan god of fire was enchained here to one of the rocks, but it’s up to you to decide whether it may be actually true. With or without mythology, this place is worth a visit for an enchanting underground experience.
Toledo Art Station
WHERE: Naples, Italy
Reminiscent of the vivid covers of the sci-fi magazines of the ‘70s, Toledo is one of Naples’ Art Stations (or Stazioni dell’Arte). You will go 130 feet underground into a spectacular bluish psychedelic interior heavy on mosaics that could easily be a great setting for some movie about outer space. Completed in 2012, the station was designed by Spanish architect Oscar Tusquets Blanca and doubles as a contemporary art gallery hosting works of such artists as William Kendridge, Robert Wilson, and Achille Cevoli.
INSIDER TIPBe sure to also visit Università Metro Art Station boasting the bright colorful designs of Egyptian-born artist Karim Rashid.
WHERE: Turner, Oregon
It takes a lot of determination and talent to build a whole new amusement park from scratch without any corporate backing. That’s exactly what Roger Tofte did designing all the attractions by hand and opening Enchanted Forest, a household name in Oregon that has been in business since the summer of 1971. Generations of kids have gotten a chance to experience its phantasmagoric rides that allude to the popular fairytales and feature witches, dragons, monsters, and Humpty Dumpty. Having suffered greatly from the restrictions posed by the coronavirus crisis, Enchanted Forest has recently reopened and invites children and adults to its highly psychedelic mix of sentimentality and entertainment.