One of the best ways to beat the dreaded January blues is to plan your next break. And with countless cities packed full of must-see sights, plus the added benefit of being close enough for a cheap weekend escape, Europe is always a popular choice. To help inspire your own adventure, we’ve carefully selected our favourite destinations for 2018 so you can start planning that dream getaway now.
There’s so much to do over Christmas, but even the busiest among will be able to fit in one of these quick trips across the pond before the 25th. We’ve picked out some of the best destinations to roll a last minute festive break and Christmas preparations all into one. Only have a day? Affordable wine from France is just 90 minutes away, while real Belgian chocolate can be reached with an overnight crossing. If you have a little longer, hit the road for a festive dash for unique gifts from Germany’s best Christmas markets. Whatever you need, you’re sure to find it all and more in one of our favourite festive cities.
An offshoot of the classical music persuasion, opera is more than just a music genre – offering up a truly captivating experience for all. From its dramatic, emotive arias to the magnificent halls they reside in, there’s nothing quite like an evening at the opera. And Europe is home to some of the world’s most majestic, featuring opulent ornaments, stunning stages and beautifully immersive performances.
Picture this: you’re gracefully cruising down a white powdery slope against a pure blue sky, before gliding into a charming chalet to warm up with an indulgent hot chocolate or spiced mulled wine. Sound good? Then get away from the drizzly rain and head to one of Europe’s stunning ski spots. These may be a little further out that the usual destinations, but you’ll be surprised how much you can save on a family ski trip when you travel by car. Add to that the flexibility of not being tied to flight schedules – and breathtaking mountainous terrain to boot – and these are sure to become a regular favourite of the holiday calendar.
The thrill of the big wheel, the whoosh as the rollercoaster hurtles downhill and the almighty splash as the log flume hits the water; visiting a theme park is one of the most sensory, exciting activities you can do whatever age you are. And some of the best can be found not too far from home. From visiting famous landmarks in Mini-Europe to scaling lofty heights and stepping into storybook realms, here are some of the best theme parks in Europe.
Every year, cinephiles journey in their droves to film festivals across the globe. Although Hollywood is eternally popular as a producer of blockbusters, Europe may well be the true home of the art form. Attending a film festival gives you the chance to experience movies in their best possible iteration – on the big screen, surrounded by equally enthusiastic people. Whether you’re an expert on underground horror, a black comedy buff or a sucker for a political thriller, there’s an amazing film festival in Europe just for you.
While every continent in the world creates music that reflects their own culture and traditions, Europe strikes a chord with music-lovers across the globe for its incredible classical output. Many civilisations have a practised classical music over the course of history, but as a generic term, the phrase is attributed to the music movement that arose in Europe between the late 16th Century Baroque Period through to the Romantic Period of the early 20th Century.
Contemporary classical music also continues to be written today, and in the UK, the genre is celebrated every year in The Proms, an eight week summer season of live classical concerts. Now that The Proms has drawn to a close for another year, why not read our whistle stop tour of classical music in Europe? Indeed, some of the most famous arrangements were created in the walls of pokey Parisian apartments and unassuming Austrian cottages.
On a meadow just outside Munich’s city centre, over 7 million ardent beer fans will gather for the 210th birthday of one of the world’s largest folk festivals. The beloved Oktoberfest will be celebrating this milestone on the 16 September, kicking off with an almighty parade before the tapping of the first keg. The event lasts for just over two weeks – giving you plenty of time to discover all that Munich has to offer while you’re there. Here, we take a look at some of the city’s best things to do for even the most discerning beer fan – from learning about Munich’s brewing history to visiting the famous beer halls.
This summer’s festival season is well and truly upon us, and fields all across the country will be filled with people wanting to camp, sing and dance to some of the world’s best music. If you’re looking for something different though, continental Europe could offer something totally unique. Celebrating the weird and the wonderful – from bathtub sailing in Belgium to onion festivals in Germany, read on for our guide to some of the most unusual European festivals.
Quick enough to see the sights, and leisurely enough to not miss anything, there’s nothing quite like exploring a new place on two wheels. Whatever your cycling ability, there’s a fantastic destination just waiting to welcome you. Try casually coasting down city streets, getting your heart thumping on off-road routes or even packing up and taking a long tour right across the continent. So grab your bicycle and get ready for an adventure you won’t forget – here are some top cycling destinations in Europe.