Tiesto has traveled a lot in his 20+ years in the music business, as he’s gone from playing small shows in Europe to headlining international festivals all over the world. In honor of the release of his sixth studio album, A Town Called Paradise, we asked the superstar Dutch EDM to reflect on which places in the world he considers paradise.
“Most of my favorite paradises are cities because I’m a very urban kind of guy,” Tiesto told BuzzFeed. “I like to be in the city. I like nature, but I haven’t spent much time in nature, to be honest. Sometimes on the beach in Miami maybe, or in Sydney. But for the rest, I’m very urban.”
1. Las Vegas
“It’s one of my favorite places to go, and it’s also the inspiration for the album, since half of it was recorded there. It’s a great place to visit for a week, and you can party really hard, like everybody always does, but there’s so much other stuff to see and do. You have a beautiful lake — Lake Mead is there. You can take a boat, surf, hang out there for a day.”
“The strip is amazing, with all the shows there and everything, but it’s nice to go off the strip and do some other stuff as well. Off the strip there’s amazing restaurants nobody knows about. The best Thai food restaurant in the world – or at least in North America – is actually off the strip, it’s called Lotus of Siam. It’s an amazing restaurant and actually really cheap compared to what you get on the strip, and only local people go there because the tourists don’t know about it. It’s the best Thai food you will ever eat.”
“You have to go there for a week, because everybody goes for two or three days — they party daytime, nighttime, and they’re super wasted and hungover, and then they leave with a headache. And they’re like, ‘Oh my god, I can’t do Vegas.’ If you go there [to party] hard, no one can. But if you stay and you go to the spa one day, lay in the sun and go to the Valley of Fire, it’s really amazing. Grand Canyon is a fun trip. It’s really the best city in the world — everybody has to see it once at least, for a week.”
2. Stockholm, Sweden
“I’ve been living there for the last six, seven years. It’s really close to the city where I was born, in Holland. The city is very similar to Amsterdam, but a little bit cleaner and the food is a little better. And there’s a lot of stuff to do there, too. You can take a boat or a helicopter to the archipelago — there are beautiful islands. And in the winter you can ice-skate there. It’s a really cool city. The fashion they have there is very nice, the stores are very different, and people are very nice to hang out with.”
“My favorite restaurant there is called Sturehof, and it’s right in the middle of the city. The restaurant has been there since 1880 or something — it’s really old and right in the center. In the summer you can sit outside, and they have phenomenal fresh fish and lots of people-watching. It’s really the best place to visit.”
“Stockholm style is very classy and very minimalistic. It’s not too crazy, but everybody wears like, nice black suits, or the girls wear Chanel kind of clothes. Not like real Chanel, but a Chanel-inspired vibe. And the guys look fashionable as well. Everybody looks good in Stockholm.”
“And of course, there are a lot of DJs and producers living there, so I recorded half of my album in Sweden. I went to a lot of Swedish people and songwriters and got inspiration from the city, so Las Vegas and Stockholm were my biggest inspiration cities for the album.”
“There’s a lot of things that are beautiful about Stockholm. The center [of the city] is really busy on weekends and during the day, but if you walk just five minutes east of Stockholm, you are in a beautiful park called Djurgården and you won’t see anybody. There’s a lake and beautiful forest, and it’s very relaxing. And inspiration comes from everything. I get inspiration when I go out and talk to people and hear music, but I can also get inspiration by just walking around by myself at night without seeing anybody. It just comes to you, any time during the day or night.”
“Ibiza is my number three because it’s a very special island. I have my own house there and I’ve been going to Ibiza for more than 15 years. It’s an amazing place and it never changes, to be honest. It’s always the same – stable and very relaxing. It’s a very laid-back vibe and people are very relaxed. Of course you can party crazy-hard there — there’s always a party going on at a private house or in the clubs — but there’s also beautiful nature, beautiful restaurants on the beach. It’s a phenomenal place. It’s really good to go there for a week or two and just do a bit of both.”
“You need to do both; partying is great, but if you’re there for a week you might as well see the nature. You can also take an amazing boat trip to Formentera, this little island which is a half-hour boat trip away. There are amazing restaurants there and the water is so crisp and blue. It’s a must-see thing.”
4. New York City
“Of course, all the tourist stuff is great — you can take a boat to the Statue of Liberty and stuff. There’s a lot of tourist stuff, but I like New York because it’s so diverse. It’s a fast-paced city, the people work hard, and they’re always evolving and creative and everybody is trying to make it there. It’s a really fun city and there’s so much to do and to see. Restaurants, shopping: it’s all amazing, of course. Brooklyn is really nice — Williamsburg.”
“I first came to New York in 1999. The very first time I came was to DJ there; I was playing this club and there was a line around the block. And I’d never played New York so I was really excited. But a lot of people had never heard of me, of course, and there were police outside and they were like, ‘Who’s this guy Tiesto? There’s so many people around here and they’re stopping the traffic,’ and everybody was getting a little freaked out. They had no idea who this Tiesto was who was coming to town. So that was really fun. And now it’s completely different.
But I like to walk around on the High Line. The restaurants are amazing – I like Catch, it’s a really nice restaurant in the Meatpacking District. And it’s always a little bit of a scene there, there’s a lot of celebrities and models hanging out there. That’s always fun to see. I really like to walk in New York. I never take the taxi unless it’s really far. I live right in the center, so I walk to Soho, I walk everywhere, and it’s amazing the things you see when you walk around – art galleries, shops, people.”
“I love Thailand. It’s an amazing country to visit. Bangkok is very crazy busy, but the people are so nice, and it’s so clean. I went to a couple of islands where you can basically eat and drink whatever you want, and you pay 20 bucks or something crazy cheap for super-quality food.”
Wat Phra Singh water reflection, Chiang Mai Province
“Of course, the nature is very nice. I think Thailand is my favorite place to visit in Asia, and I also love the Phi Phi islands to relax.”
6. Berlin, Germany
“Berlin used to be a place you couldn’t visit because it was divided between eastern and western Europe, so it still has all of this Russian culture there from the past. And the music scene there is amazing. It’s very innovative, with different styles of music. The whole deep-house movement was basically born in Berlin, like tech house and techno. It’s a really special city for music in that way. I think it’s one of the frontrunner cities when it comes to EDM.”
7. Sydney, Australia
“I could live there, actually. It’s a little far away from the rest of the world, but I love Sydney. I also love Bondi Beach, I could be there all day sitting in restaurants, watching the surfers surf on the waves. It’s really a special place.”
“I’ve been to Australia quite a few times. And the whole country is an amazing place to visit – Sydney and Melbourne are amazing cities – but you can also go to the Whitsundays Islands or Fraser Island, which are really beautiful and barely any people are there. You can really isolate yourself from the world when you’re in Australia.”
“I really liked Valparaíso. I went there to shoot a commercial for 7 Up. I didn’t know what to expect at all. I would never pick to go there myself, but I had to go there to shoot this commercial, which came out really amazing. We went to a mountain of houses, where people live, and we lit it all up and we made a club out of it, and it looked really cool.”
“I played there for the locals — a two-hour set for probably 500 kids who actually lived there. It was a really cool thing. And during the day we went for lunch on the beach; it’s so beautiful there and the food is so good, like, ceviche. It was a really nice holiday city to visit, and I didn’t expect that at all.”
“It’s really nice, you have lunch there and the pelicans fly by, it was really amazing. And the nightlife was fun, too, it was great to go out there. I didn’t know what to expect at all, and it was really cool.”
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