America might have founded the first events back in the 1960s, but fast forward to the present day and Europe has a firm grip on the festival baton. The UK alone hosts approximately 500 festivals each year, and the incredible roster of European events continues to evolve every summer. Attending a classic festival or boutique weekender has long been a rite of passage, wherever you hail from on the continent. From hip hop legends in Holland to cutting edge electro in Belgium, there’s a festival for everyone. Here’s the best of what’s coming up in 2017.
With one of Europe’s most modern skylines and a buzzing cultural scene, there’s so much more to Rotterdam than its famous port. While most of its architecture is gleamingly new, there are still beautiful places to discover which hint to its rugged past, making it the perfect place to explore with the one you love. Whether it’s a canal side stroll amongst stunning architecture, or an escape to the idyllic Delfshaven, you’ll find plenty of things to do in Rotterdam for a romantic break.
It may be known as the Gateway to Europe, but Rotterdam’s magnetic charm makes it a stunning destination in its own right. If you’re used to passing through Amsterdam’s sister city, it’s time to stop and take in a place of remarkable contrasts, with stark modern architecture mixed in with quaint historic buildings on stunning riverscapes. World-class museums, fantastic family days out and diverse entertainment fuelled by the influx of artists from surrounding areas are just a few of the reasons to visit Rotterdam.
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.
You may think of Bruges as your second home, walk like a local down Amsterdam’s winding back streets and have a cafe in Paris where the baristas know you by name. But have you ever felt your travels were starting to lack a little… je ne sais quoi? If you’re starting to find your favourite destination a little too familiar, maybe it’s time to shake up your holiday ritual. These fairytale European cities are sure to steal your heart – and don’t worry, we won’t tell.
Whether your heart’s set on learning the local cuisine in the French countryside, or discovering hidden gems down the narrow winding streets of Dublin, travelling by ferry gives you the freedom to explore countries beyond their biggest cities, and all at your own pace too. The only tricky bit is knowing where to start.
There’s no better way to rediscover your favourite destination, or to try somewhere completely new, than with a good book as your tour guide. In fact, some of the greatest locations are hidden within the very pages of a well-thumbed story. Stroll the streets of these stunning cities and you’ll soon see why they inspired some of the world’s most beautiful novels.
Looking for holiday inspiration? Here’s a guide to the best cities in Europe, from the authors who loved them most.