If there’s one thing that Europe is known for, it’s harbouring a rich history of art from all influences. Whether it’s hanging on a wall, painted as a mural or performed on a stage, this continent holds some of the greatest artistic artefacts the world has ever seen. Holding fast in an ever-changing field, European artists are continuously creating works that affect audiences worldwide – pushing boundaries and questioning the norm both in terms of materials and their subject matter. Experience this inspiration for yourself with our guide to some of Europe’s best alternative art festivals.
Make a resolution you won’t want to break this year with a spot on one of Europe’s best foodie courses. Book a weekend away to immerse yourself in the art of cooking a boeuf bourguignon Julia Child would be proud of, sweet pastries fit for a patisserie window, or mix it up with a bartending course in the heart of Ireland. Whichever you choose, you’re sure to return home with a head full of ideas just rearing to get going in the kitchen. Here, we give you some of the best courses and workshops in Europe you can work into even a short weekend away.
Despite being one of Holland’s oldest cities, Maastricht retains a different flavour from the rest of the Netherlands. It has wider streets, larger squares and its buildings are formed from a curious quilt of architectural styles. Maastricht prides itself on its international vibe, so if you’re looking to visit somewhere quintessentially Dutch, consider dropping by Utrecht or Haarlem instead. But with a past that spans 20 centuries, Maastricht is considered Holland’s premier melting pot and well worth a visit. Fans of history will love the city’s medieval relics and crumbling fortifications, while foodies will enjoy its cosmopolitan restaurant scene. Whatever you look for in a city break, you’re sure to find a long weekend’s worth of exciting things to in Maastricht.
With the bright winter sun rising over frozen canals, winter is one of the most beautiful seasons to see your favourite European cities. And while the long summer days of lazing at the best of the festivals may be over for this year, the colder months bring a whole host of exciting events with them. From awe-inspiring illuminations in Amsterdam to curious literary themed carnivals in France, there’s a full programme of activities to keep the whole family entertained throughout the iciest of seasons.
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.
The wild poppies may be on their way out of season, but soon war memorials across the world will be sheathed in a sea of red flowers to commemorate the fallen. As Remembrance Day draws near, why not consider a trip to the very ground where the events occurred? Whether or not you had relatives who took part, visiting the places where some of the most important battles of the World Wars took place is a moving way to mark the day – giving a glimpse into the realities of the fighting. Embark on your own World War II battlefield tour this November with a visit to these poignant locations.
While nowhere in the world celebrates Halloween with quite the same gusto as America, that’s not to say that Europe – with its ancient ruins, gory history and fascinating folklore – isn’t an amazing place to be on October 31st. If you want to scare yourself silly, some unforgettable celebrations can be found a short ferry ride away, in three of Europe’s most fright-filled cities.
If you’re visiting the European hub of futuristic art and cutting-edge design, take a romantic break from the thrill of the bright lights at one of these cosier destinations just a stone’s throw away. Rotterdam is home to Europe’s biggest port, making it the perfect base for a starry-eyed long weekend in South Holland. And with excellent connections to some of some of the most quixotic locations in the Netherlands, you’re just a ferry ride away from an unforgettably idyllic adventure. All of these suggestions are under and hour away from the city by train or car – making them ideal locations for a day trip, or even a long weekend if your schedule is more flexible. The only question is, where first?
With a history as rich as its Michelin-starred food, it’s no wonder that everyone from the old masters to the new architectural innovators have been swept away by the sights and sounds of Holland. When you spot the fields of flowers with giant windmills turning majestically overhead, you’ll see how the natural colours have fused with the nations’ art, influencing whole cities of delicate architecture, well-trimmed parks and magical streets – every inch a masterpiece. There’s a whole wealth of things to see and do in this beautiful part of the world – here are some of our top picks for the perfect holiday in Holland!