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.
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.
Towering pink and blue turrets of an enchanted fairy tale castle can only mean one thing: Disneyland® Paris. Home to spectacular attractions, dazzling fireworks and breath-taking shows, 2017 marks 25 wonderful years since its first opening – and we want you to be there to help celebrate this very special anniversary.
Right now in Paris, a multi-sensory extravaganza is taking place across some of the French capital’s most exciting venues. Every year, the Festival d’Automne à Paris marks the end of summer by bringing together music, dance, theatre and film to the very forefront of the cultural stage. With the event already in full swing, some forty or so of the city’s establishments have opened their doors to take part, and it’s all going on until mid-December. Heralded as the festival of the season for its unmissable performances, exhibitions and shows, grab your chance to take part now.
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.
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.
Long sunny days and light evenings were just made for exploring Paris – think romantic picnics eating brie and baguette in front of the Eiffel Tower, or lounging with an espresso outside a chic café. But as well as these classic holiday favourites, summer is the time when the city really comes into its own, with the warmer weather bringing a whole host of new and exciting events. So grab your sunglasses – here are the spots you should be visiting in and around Paris this summer.
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.
Bastille Day, known in France as “la Fête Nationale”, takes place on 14 July every year. It’s far from a mere bank holiday then – this date is considered the ultimate celebration of French culture and heritage. This special day marks the Storming of the Bastille, a political event that shaped the France we know today. Throughout the country, you’ll hear impassioned cries of “Vive la France! Vive la République!” as people gather in the streets for huge parties. But how did Bastille Day come to be?
Toward the end of the 18th Century, the French monarchy was in crisis. The country was on the brink of bankruptcy due to costly involvement in the American Revolution, yet King Louis XVI and his coiffed queen Marie Antoinette continued to spend lavishly while ordinary people starved. On 14 July 1789, Parisian rebels stormed the Bastille, a royal prison that had come to signify the cruelty of the sovereignty. This event marked the beginning of the French Revolution, a decade of political turmoil in which the king was overthrown by the new radical state and sent to the guillotine. Eventually of course, the absolute monarchy was replaced by a constitutional government.
Here we give you some brilliant historical ways to mark the most important day in France’s calendar.