Motor City is going through a revival, and we’re excited to witness it firsthand. Want to join us? Motown music, acclaimed art and design, and fine local flavors are among the appeal of this Midwest metropolis, named one of the World’s Greatest Places 2022 by Time magazine.
Icelandair offers regular flights to Detroit from Europe and Iceland – for music, motoring, art, and a great chance to explore a classic American city that’s been flying under the radar.
Before you explore the Motown music Detroit is famous for, how about unearthing Iceland’s renowned music scene? When you book flights to Detroit with Icelandair you can add a stopover in Iceland at no additional airfare.
Detroit was once among the world’s most booming cities, with its heyday centered around the automobile industry early in the 20th century. There’s a legacy of great architecture from that time (art deco abounds), and the Henry Ford Museum has an incredible display of classic cars, alongside a smorgasbord of top-tier exhibits.
Another enduring homegrown icon is Motown sound, a musical genre that blends the sounds of rhythm and blues and pop – think Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder and more. For music fans, the Motown Museum is a must.
Art and design fans have cause to celebrate, too – from street art to the fresco-filled Detroit Institute of Arts, there’s plenty to see, and Detroit is the first and only American city to be named a UNESCO City of Design. Head to the Heidelberg Project for inspiring, eclectic outdoor art.
Get a taste of what’s on local plates by heading to Eastern Market, dating from 1891. It’s the largest farmers market in the US, and it’s surrounded by a neighborhood filled with great food spots and good shopping. Check the market’s opening hours: it’s open year round on Saturday, and also Tuesdays and Sundays in summer.
Detroit’s famous dishes include square deep-dish pizza, Coney Island hot dogs (topped with chili, onions, and mustard), and corned beef sandwiches. In addition to the old-school favorites, there’s a slew of creative chefs doing their thing in new restaurants and cafes, especially in cool neighborhood Corktown. Plus: an abundance of ethnic eats thanks to the city’s multicultural population. Greektown is for Greek, Hamtramck is for Polish, Dearborn is for Arabic, and Corktown is good for everything!
Detroit is a big, sprawling city so there’s plenty to investigate within its boundaries. But you’re well placed to do some exploring, too: pop across the river to Canada, maybe even cover the 380km to Niagara Falls.
If you’re looking for something closer and a way to experience the outdoors, Belle Isle Park is an island in the Detroit River near Downtown Detroit. It’s accessible by bridge and features a zoo, aquarium, conservatory, beach, a museum dedicated to the Great Lakes, and plenty of room to hike, barbecue, bicycle, kayak and more.
Further afield, the town of Ann Arbor regularly wins votes on lists of the best places to live in the US. It’s a pretty university town with a thriving arts and culture scene, just 70km west of Detroit. Amtrak trains run between the two.