7 Things You Never Knew About Oktoberfest in Munich Germany

It is no surprise that most people, when they hear the word “Oktoberfest,” immediately think of ice-cold beer in an ornate beer stein. We don’t blame you. However, there is much more to Oktoberfest in Munich than a liter of liquid gold. The following is a list of perhaps surprising reasons why Oktoberfest is well worth the trip:

1. The History

Oktoberfest did not at first begin as such. The first of these annual festivals was held on October 12, 1810, as a celebration of the marriage of King Ludwig I and Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen. This beerless festival, horse races and all, was a way for the Royal Family to celebrate with the citizens of Bavaria. The tradition of Oktoberfest arose when the Royal Family decided to do it all over again the next year.

2. The Food

Yes, the beverages at Oktoberfest are important but the food may be even better. On average there are approximately 140 food stands that serve the best of Bavaria. This includes, but is in no way limited to, dumplings, sausages, giant soft pretzels, candy apples and schnitzel sandwiches. According to Reader’s Digest, Oktoberfest visitors eat over 500,000 roast chickens each year. They go on to explain that, “Last year, in 17 days, 118 oxen and 53 calves were consumed.” That’s a lot of eating!

3. The People

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Over 6 million people attend Oktoberfest annually. Surprisingly, 91% of the peole visiting Oktoberfest are from Germany – only 9% come from the rest of the world. What this means is you better not stand out like an ugly tourist – the Germans will know how to act. But all in all, everyone’s there for a good time and a good beer. So, get your people-watching glasses on and get ready to have some fun!

4. The App

With there being over 6 million people at Oktoberfest, the fish in the sea are brought to you. If you are interested in meeting nearby singles, you can use the “Wiesn flirt and find” app. However, if flirting with the locals isn’t for you, there is also an official Oktoberfest app as well. This app allows you to input your height and weight, in addition to how much beer you drank, to estimate your BAC and approximate how long it will take for you to sober up!

5. The Entertainment

Oktoberfest is a very family-friendly event. There are more than 80 rides. Some say it is almost like a giant state fair. There are traditional German musicians, and many more tents and activities to make it a family affair. There are some visitors who don’t even visit the beer tents, but just stick to the rest of the festival. Even more, if you venture outside the Oktoberfest grounds there are other Oktoberfest themed activities going on around the city.

6. The Wine Tent

Believe it or not, Oktoberfest isn’t just for beer lovers. If you aren’t too keen on sipping liquid gold, there are alternatives. We shouldn’t tell you this, but at some of the beer tents they serve schnapps. This can be a killer liquid, and even worse if you aren’t careful with it. Stick with beer and wine.

7. The Beer

7 Things You Never Knew About Oktoberfest

We know that we said it wasn’t all about the beer. We lied. Oktoberfest has 14 large beer tents that serve Oktoberfest’s special brew concocted in Munich’s finest breweries. This special brew, believe it or not, is 1.3% stronger than your average draft. This year, one liter of liquid gold will cost you $13 – so pace yourself!





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88 International Events & Festivals for your Bucket List

There’s no such thing as a bucket list that’s too long. If there is anything you don’t want to skimp on in your lifetime, it’s having wild and unforgettable experiences.

As expert world travelers and international event goers, we know a thing or two about memorable experiences. Combining travel with the most exciting events of our time is a great way to see the world, make new friends, and add some seriously exciting memories to your arsenal of stories.

Here are 88 events around the world that you’ll want to make room for on your bucket list. From the biggest events in the world, to international cultural events, to off-beat lesser-known gems, you’re sure to find any number of bucket list events to attend in this extensive list of international events.

 

 

The Masters, Augusta, GA

Masters Augusta Georgia Sign

The Masters tournament is one of the four major golf tournaments held per year at the professional level. Unlike the other three, whose locales change annually, the Masters tournament is held at the same location every year – in Augusta, Georgia. It’s a tournament that has been made famous by the iconic green jacket of the Augusta National Golf Club.

Augusta National Golf Club

Membership in this club is kept under lock and key – it is by invitation only. However, the tournament itself is mus -see event for all serious golf fans. For a chance to watch the biggest pros at the height of their concentration, in the classiest setting with the highest stakes, there is simply nothing quite like the Masters.
MEET ME AT THE MASTERS

 

Kentucky Derby, Louisville, KY

kentucky derby clubhouse view

The Kentucky Derby is one of America’s major horse races held every year in the vibrant city of Louisville, Kentucky. The race is known as “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports,” but the race itself is almost secondary to the atmosphere and rituals of the event.  Mint juleps galore, the audience dressed in their Spring-in-the-South finest, a large and vibrant hat tradition, the Kentucky Derby provides some excellent people watching and parties. The Kentucky Derby is one of the best events in the world to see and be seen.
DON'T MISS DERBY

 

The US Open, New York, NY

One of four Grand Slam tournaments held annually across the world, the US Open is a grueling tennis championship played on hard courts.  For a chance to watch the greatest tennis talent in the world competing for some high-stakes prize money and name recognition, all in the bustling metropolis of New York City, the US Open makes for an enthralling event for spectators.

 

FIFA World Cup

Soccer may still be up and coming in the States, but football is absolutely adored by the rest of the world. The FIFA World Cup is the world’s most watched sporting event, with roughly half of the global population tuning in to watch at least one game. This makes the World Cup one of the biggest events in the world, with a scale even larger than that of the Summer or Winter Games.

world cup quatar 2022

Held every four years across multiple cities in one host country, those attending the matches get to see more than just incredible athletic talent. The patriotic international presence makes for a roaring good time, and prestige of the matches means that every moment is filled with edge of your seat action. Plus, it gives you the chance to explore distant and exciting countries like Brazil in 2014, Russia in 2018, and Qatar in 2022!
TRAVEL TO QATAR IN 2022

 

UEFA Champions League, the Euro Cup

2004 Champions League Final Paris

The best European football clubs compete nine months out of the year in a tournament that eventually whittles them down to the two very best. With such a long and grueling elimination process filled with rivalries, injuries, and dreams, the Champions League Final, hosted in a different European city each year, has a lot riding on it. There is nothing quite like watching two teams that have been playing their hardest for the last nine  months come head to head. Plus, attending this must-see event gives you a chance to explore incredible European cities like Kiev, Ukraine, Cardiff, Wales, and Madrid, Spain.
MEET ME IN MADRID

 

Camden Windjammer Festival, Camden, ME

Camden Windjammer Fest

Camden, Maine has a deep maritime history and they keep it alive every year with the Camden Windjammer Festival. The festival is like stepping into a time machine to the 1930s, when travel by sea was the main mode of transportation in the area. They have a huge windjammer fleet, elegant yachts and sailing ships that adorn their vibrant community. Plus, the seafood is unbeatable. Stay for the whole weekend for a lobster crab race, a fish relay race, a build-a-boat contest, a chowder challenge and more. The Windjammer Festival is one of the coolest events in the world that you’ve never heard of.

 

Carnival, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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As one of the world’s oldest and most vibrant Carnival celebrations, the tradition of Rio Carnival began in 1723. In the almost 300 years since its first colonial inception, the festival has grown into a week long party with more than 2 million people in attendance. It is the biggest carnival of the year and begins every year just before Lent. The entire city is full of floats, samba schools, song, and dance. In terms of scope, atmosphere, location, and parties, Rio’s Carnival is one of the greatest must-see events around the world.

 

Mardi Gras Festival, New Orleans, LA

mardis gras new orleans

Enter the world’s wildest Mardi Gras festival in the lively city of New Orleans, Louisiana. Distinct from Carnival celebrations held through out Europe and Latin America, New Orleans’ bucket list festival has its own flavor. For amazing Cajun food, colorful beads, incredible jazz music, and a wild parade and party, Mardi Gras in New Orleans is the place to be in February.

 

Chinese New Year, Shanghai, China

chinese new year bucket list

Chinese New Year is the most important holiday of the Chinese calendar. A celebration of the year to come, the Chinese make way for plenty of good fortune with feasts, parades, lanterns, colorful costumes, and lots of rituals. Each year is characterized by a different astrological animal with different significance, whose likeness will be prevalent in the celebrations. To see how millions upon millions of people usher in the new year, head to one of China’s largest cities during Chinese New Year for an unforgettable celebration.

 

Sapporo Snow Festival, Sapporo, Japan

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For seven days every February, nearly 2 million people visit Sapporo, Japan to see incredible works of art made from snow and ice at one of the most unique festivals in the world. The festival is glittering and ethereal, with beautiful ice sculptures, mazes, and even entire buildings. A true winter wonderland, this festival is at once romantic and fun for the whole family.

 

St. Patrick’s Day, Dublin, Ireland

st patricks day in dublin Photo by Miguel Mendez

Irish pride is positively beaming on St. Patrick’s Day, the country’s most vibrant holiday. The entire country will be abuzz with whiskey, beer, and good vibes, but nothing can rival the celebration in the capital city of Dublin. With a parade that draws crowds of a nearly a million people, you’ll certainly feel the luck of the Irish. Seeing the real St. Patty’s Day in Dublin ranks among the greatest bucket list events around the world.

 

Austin City Limits, Austin, TX

Photo by Ben Godkin.

Austin City Limits (ACL) is an American public television music program recorded live in Austin, Texas, that showcases incredible music talent. The festival is inspired by the show, and features some of the biggest names as headliners as well as a robust lineup of up-and-coming talent. This festival takes place over the course of two weekends in the Live Music Capital of the World, with plenty of hiking, swimming, and tacos to boot.

 

Coachella Music Festival, Indio, CA

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The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival  is an annual music and arts festival held at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California, located in the Inland Empire’s Coachella Valley in the Colorado Desert. One of the nation’s largest music festivals, Coachella regularly features the hottest names in music each year. Plus, with its proximity to Los Angeles, you will probably see any number of celebrities in the crowds.

 

Sasquatch Music Festival, George, WA

music festival bucket list

For an unbeatable venue, the nature views that you’ll get at Sasquatch put this music festival in its own category. Taking place over three to four days, Sasquatch typically features a range of musical genres, with the emphasis being on indie rock bands and singer-songwriters, but also including alternative rock, hip hop, EDM, and comedy acts.

 

Leeds & Reading Music Festivals, Leeds & Reading, UK

The Reading and Leeds Festivals are a pair of annual music festivals that take place in Reading and Leeds in England. The events take place simultaneously on the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday of the August bank holiday weekend, sharing the same bill. The Reading Festival is held at Little John’s Farm on Richfield Avenue in central Reading, near the Caversham Bridge. The Leeds event is held at Bramham Park, near Wetherby, the grounds of a historic house. These pop and rock festivals include lots of camping spots, making the whole experience feel very community-oriented.

 

Tanglewood Music Festival, Lennox, MA

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The Tanglewood Music Festival is a music festival held every summer on the Tanglewood estate in Stockbridge and Lenox, Massachusetts in the Berkshire Hills in western Massachusetts. The festival consists of a series of concerts, including symphonic music, chamber music, choral music, musical theater, contemporary music, jazz, and pop music. The Boston Symphony Orchestra is in residence at the festival, but many of the concerts are put on by other groups. The setting is beautiful, with lawn chairs and picnics sprawled in front of the stage (which is actually an old barn!).

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, Albuquerque, NM

The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is a yearly festival of hot air balloons that takes place in Albuquerque, New Mexico, during early October. The Balloon Fiesta is a nine-day event and has over 500 balloons each year. The event is the largest hot air balloon festival in the world. Balloon Fiesta Park, from which the balloons are launched, is located on the northern edge of the city.

 

Cooper Hill’s Cheese Rolling Festival, Gloucester, UK

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The Cooper’s Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake is an annual event held on the Spring Bank Holiday at Cooper’s Hill, near Gloucester in England. It is traditionally done by and for the people who live in the local village of Brockworth, but now people from all over the world take part. The competition consists of chasing a wheel of cheese down a grassy hill, and the event is just as wacky as it sounds.

 

Burning Man, Black Rock City, NV

Burning Man is an annual gathering that takes place at Black Rock City – a temporary community erected in the Black Rock Desert in Nevada. The event is described as an experiment in community and art, influenced by 10 main principles, including “radical” inclusion, self-reliance and self-expression, as well as community cooperation, gifting and decommodification, and leaving no trace. First held in 1986 on Baker Beach in San Francisco as a small function organized by Larry Harvey and a group of friends, it has since been held annually, spanning from the last Sunday in August to the first Monday in September (Labor Day). One of the big events around the world in terms of artsy notoriety, Burning Man is the place to be if you’re ready to get weird.

 

Lantern Festival in Hawaii, Honolulu, HI

hawaii lantern festival

Memorial Day in America is a day when people remember and honor those who have fallen in service to their country. In Hawai‘i, with its diverse population, traditions become easily adopted and assimilated into its rich cultural fabric. It is the norm for people in Hawai‘i, on Memorial Day, to place flowers and offerings on gravesites of loved ones who served their country as well as those of others who have passed away. Not only is the Lantern Festival incredibly moving, it’s also one of the best events around the world in terms of photogenity.

 

Texas Sandfest, Port Aranasas, TX

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Sand sculptors from all over the world make their way to Port Aransas each year for the annual Texas SandFest. This popular event includes sculpting contests for professionals and amateurs, food and live music. Spanning three days and including five competitive divisions, SandFest offers a great outlet for sand sculptors, as well as plenty to see for those more interested in looking at – rather than building – sand sculptures. The event is free to the public and various vendors are on-hand selling refreshments, curios, and souvenirs.

 

Punkin Chunkin World Championship, Bridgeville, DE

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This Delaware town figured out a very entertaining use for all the leftover pumpkins after Halloween. 75 teams construct homemade catapults and compete to chuck their pumpkin the furthest. For impressive feats of engineering and flying vegetables, this wacky and popular event is not to be missed.

 

Rubber Duck Race, Tübingen, Germany

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Although the dazzling idea of the duck race is thought to come from Canada, it’s big business in Germany, where there are corporate duck-racing specialists. The season begins in March, with more than 150 competitions taking place in towns across Germany. The race in the idyllic southern city of Tübingen is the largest, where the first synthetic contender past the finishing line at Neckarbrücke wins its patron a €1000 holiday voucher, with plenty of other prizes for runners-up. This is a bucket list to attend if only for its uniqueness!

 

Dragon Boat Carnival, Hong Kong

International-Dragon-Boat-Championship

The International Dragon Boat Championship is in ancient Chinese festival turned into the Hong Kong Dragon Boat Carnival. Held in the Victoria Harbor, this carnival is marked by the Dragon Boat races that take place. Hundreds of thousands of spectators come flocking to Victoria Harbor to participate in this once-in-a-lifetime event. The world’s best Dragon Boat athletes duke it out while both the spectators and athletes drench themselves in ice cold, refreshing beer along with live entertainment as a part of Beer Fest.

 

Royal Ascot Races, Berkshire, UK

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The Ascot is a thoroughbred horse racing course in England, and the Royal Ascot Race is the gold standard for races worldwide, inspiring derbies across the globe. This particular race is steeped in tradition, dating back to 1711 with Queen Anne. If you ever wanted to see British royalty in person, this would be a prime place to do it as it is attended by the British Royal family every year.

 

World Bog Snorkeling Championships, Llanwrtyd Wells, Wales

Bog snorkeling is a unique sporting event. Competitors race in a water-filled trench through a peat bog using snorkels and flippers. Conventional swimming techniques are not allowed – these athletes must rely on flipper power alone. The total race is 120 yards as they must race 60 yards one way and 60 yards back. Held in Wales in the UK, the World Bog Snorkeling Championships is held every year on the August Bank Holiday.

 

Coupe Icare Masquerade, Saint-Hillaire, France

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The Icarus Cup Masquerade Flights, or Coupe Icare, is an awesome event held in France where people compete in in elaborately adorned paraglides. You’ll also find flight competitions, street performances, live entertainment, children’s activities and a flight museum.

 

The Winter Games

Winter Olympics Biathlon
The Winter Games are one of the world’s major international sporting events held every four years with winter-themed sports involving snow and ice. It currently is a three-week event with athletes around the world and takes place in February. These top world athletes compete in 15 various sports from ice hockey and figure skating to bobsledding and curling. An Olympic medal is the greatest honor an athlete can complete for, and the national pride and sense of community that these events bring out makes for an unforgettable experience.
BRING ME TO BEIJING IN 2022

The Summer Games

Bucket List Events clients enjoy their time during the 2016 Rio Summer Games.

One of the most prestigious events any city can host, the Summer Games are held every 4 years and bring together the world’s greatest athletes to compete for their countries. Filled with amazing athletic feats, inspirational underdog stories, and incredible international brotherhood and sportsmanship, the Summer Games are one of the most awe-inducing events you can witness in your lifetime.
TAKE ME TO TOKYO IN 2020

Cricket World Cup

cricket world cup

Cricket is a European sport but is gaining popularity internationally, especially in former colonies like India. In 2015, the Cricket World Cup was hosted jointly by Australia and New Zealand. It was the 11th Cricket World Cup, held on Valentine’s Day February 14th through March 29. The current competition consists of 14 teams who played in 49 different matches in 14 different venues. England Will Host the 2019 the Cricket World Cup.

 

Wimbledon, London, UK

Wimbledon travel packages for 2017

The Wimbledon Tennis Tournament is held every year and is the largest of the Grand Slam tournaments. The only international tennis tournament to be played on grass courts, a lot of care goes into preserving the greens and the formalities of this event. Expect certain traditions to be held in place as you attend – strict dress codes for the athletes, strawberries and cream for the attendees, and because it takes place in the UK, the British Royal family will be there. An elaborate queuing process makes Wimbledon one of very few international sporting events where spectators can obtain tickets the day of
WANNA GO TO WIMBELDON?

Le Tour de France

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The French event, Tour de France is one of the most grueling bicycle races on the planet. Lance Armstrong helped make this one famous by being its champion seven years a row from 1999 to 2005. It is a three-week tournament where cyclists race over 2200 miles (3500 km). The route changes every year, but always features the gorgeous French countryside as well as many famous monuments. Having the reputation of being the most physically demanding race in the international circuit, this is not an event you want to miss.

 

Italian Grand Prix, Monza, Italy

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One of the top Formula 1 races internationally, Monza’s Italian Grand Prix is one of the longest running races int he sport. The Italians may just love this sport more than any other nation, and the top automotive makers like Ferrari and Lamborghini are out in full-swing for this event to showcase their brands.

 

FIS Alpine World Ski Championships

Winter Olympics skiing
The Alpine World Ski Championships is another major international sporting event featuring several countries. Many of these countries participate in the Winter Olympics. For several decades, this event was directly connected to the Winter Olympics, but in the 1980s, they were held independently. Currently, they are held biannually in the odd-numbered years. In 2015, they are scheduled to be hosted by the United States followed by Switzerland, Sweden, and then Italy in 2021.

Rugby World Cup

Rugby World Cup
The Rugby World Cup is a men’s international tournament. Inaugurated in 1987, Australia and New Zealand initially co-hosted the tournament. The award for the Rugby World Cup is the Webb Ellis Cup. Originally, 16 international teams were invited to participate, but since 1999, 20 teams have been competing. The next championship that will take place in 2019 will feature Japan’s first entry. If you’re not familiar with Rugby, think of it like American football with fewer rules. And with less padding and head gear, the athletes inevitably tackle one another differently.

Daytona 500, Daytona Beach, FL

Daytona-500-Race

One of the most famous NASCAR races, this one takes place in Daytona Beach, Florida. It is 500 miles long and part of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. It is the first of the two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, with the second one being the Coke Zero 400 that is held at Daytona. The Daytona 500 is considered the most prestigious NASCAR race and the one where the most prize money is won. It has been dubbed as the “Great American Race” as well as the “Super Bowl of Stock-Car Racing.”

 

Oktoberfest, Munich, Germany

german festivals celebrations Bucket List Events in the Lowenbrau Beer Tent in 2018

Oktoberfest began as the marriage ceremony between Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese on October 12, 1810. All of the townspeople were invited to attend the festival, which took place in the fields outside of the city gates. Following the wedding the fields were named Theresienwiese after the Princess, and the party was such a hit that the townspeople asked King Ludwig to continue the celebration the following year.

Music, beer, Lederhosen… what else do you need?

Today the remnants of the gates still stand and the fields, known by locals as the Wies’n, now host the largest beer festival and one of the most famous international cultural events in the world: Oktoberfest! What was a simple wedding celebration has transformed into a 17 or 18-day festival in which 7 million people from around the world participate in, consuming more than 6 million liters of Bavarian beer. That’s 1 million gallons of beer! Oktoberfest officially begins on the second to last Saturday in September at noon when the mayor of Munich taps the first barrel at the Schottenhamel Tent, crying “O’zapft is” (It’s open). The festival concludes the first Sunday of October following German reunification day on October 5. Don’t even thinking about attending without a traditional costume or on an empty stomach.

MEET ME IN MUNICH

 

Running of the Bulls, Pamplona, Spain

Running of the Bulls Streets

There really is no comparison to the Running of the Bulls and the San Fermin Festival in Pamplona, Spain. For eight incredible days, the city on Pamplona takes on a playful mystique, consumed by the perpetual state of bliss that the celebration brings. At what other international cultural event can you mix religion, thrills, parties, parades… and bovines?

Running of the Bulls Pamplona

The running of the bulls happens every year from July 7 – 14. It’s the same dates every year, but some years there are more of the daily runs on the weekend, while other years they happen during the week. This actually has a big effect on the crowd sizes during the event. This whole festival is one huge party, so wear white and get ready to get soaked in wine! Whatever you do, don’t leave Running of the Bulls off of your bucket list of international events.
RUN WITH THE BULLS

 

Winterlude, Ottawa & Quebec, Canada

Winterlud-Skating-on-the-Rideau-Canal

Winterlude is an annual festival in Ottawa, Ontario and Gatineau, Quebec that celebrates winter (something Canadians do very well). Winterlude is run by the National Capital Commission and was started in 1979. The event is one of Ottawa’s most important tourist draws, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. In 2007, it set a new attendance record of an estimated 1.6 million visits to one of the four Winterlude sites. The focal point of Winterlude is the Rideau Canal Skateway, which at 7.8 kilometers (approximately 5 miles) is the largest skating rink in the world.

 

Midsummer’s Eve Pagan Festival, Tallberg, Sweden

Midsummers Eve Festival Sweden

Given Scandinavia’s long, dark winters, it’s not surprising that the arrival of summer is a big deal throughout the Nordic countries. In Sweden, Midsummer’s Eve is one of the most important days of the year, rivaling Christmas with its festive spirit and traditions. Raising and dancing around a maypole (majstång or midsommarstång) is an activity that attracts families and many others. In earlier times, small spires wrapped in greens were erected; this probably predates the maypole tradition, which is believed by many to have come from the continent in the Middle Ages.

 

Bloomsday, Dublin, Ireland

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Bloomsday is a commemoration and celebration of the life of Irish writer James Joyce during which the events of his novel Ulysses (which is set on 16 June 1904) are relived. It is observed annually on 16 June in Dublin and elsewhere. Joyce chose the date as it was the date of his first outing with his wife-to-be, Nora Barnacle; they walked to the Dublin suburb of Ringsend. The name is derived from Leopold Bloom, the protagonist of Ulysses. The day involves a range of cultural activities including Ulysses readings and dramatizations, pub crawls and other events, much of it hosted by the James Joyce Centre in North Great George’s Street.

 

Carnival of Venice

Carnival Venice Italy

The Carnival of Venice is an annual festival, held in Venice, Italy. The Carnival ends with the Christian celebration of Lent, forty days before Easter on Shrove Tuesday (Mardi Gras), the day before Ash Wednesday. The festival is world-famed for its elaborate masks. Approximately 3 million visitors come to Venice every year for the Carnival. One of the most important events is the contest for la maschera più bella (“the most beautiful mask”) placed at the last weekend of the Carnival and judged by a panel of international costume and fashion designers.

 

Diwali, Festival of Lights, Mumbai, India

Diwali-Festival-of-Lights-India.

Diwali (or Deepavali, the “Festival of Lights”) is an ancient Hindu festival celebrated in autumn every year. Deepavali is the biggest and the brightest festival in India. The festival spiritually signifies the victory of light over darkness. The festival preparations and rituals typically extend over a five-day period, but the main festival night of Deepavali coincides with the darkest, new moon night of the Hindu Lunisolar month Kartika. In the Gregorian calendar, Deepavali falls between mid-October and mid-November.

 

Elephant Festival, Jaipur, India

Elephane-Festival-India

Elephant Festival is a festival celebrated in Jaipur city in Rajasthan state in India. It is held on the day of Holi festival, usually in the month of March. The festival features Elephant polo and Elephant Dance. The Elephant Festival begins with a beautiful procession of bedecked elephants, camels, horses and folk dancers. The owners proudly embellish their elephants with vibrant colors, jhools (saddle cloth) and heavy jewelry. Elephant polo, Elephant race, the tug-of-war between Elephant and 19 men and women are the featured events of the festival.

 

The Ganesh Celebrations, Dehli, India

Ganesh-Celebrations-India

Ganesh Chaturthi is the Hindu festival celebrated in honor of the elephant-headed god, Ganesha. Celebrations are traditionally held on the fourth day of the first fortnight in the month of Bhaadrapada in the Hindu calendar, usually August or September in the Gregorian calendar. The festival generally lasts ten days, ending on the fourteenth day of the fortnight. The public celebration involves installing clay images of Ganesha in public pandals (temporary shrines) and group worship. At home, an appropriately-sized clay image is installed and worshiped with family and friends.

 

Snow & Ice Festival, Harbin, China

Snow-Ice-Festival-China

The annual Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival is an annual winter festival that takes place with a theme in Harbin, China, and now is the largest ice and snow festival in the world. At first, participants in the festival were mainly Chinese. However, it has since become an international festival and competition. The festival includes the world’s biggest ice sculptures. During the festival, there are ice lantern park touring activities held in many parks in the city. Winter activities during the festival include Yabuli alpine skiing, winter swimming in the Songhua River, and the ice-lantern exhibition in Zhaolin Garden.

 

Holi Festival of Colors, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and other Hindu regions

Holi-Spring-Festival-India

Holi is a spring festival, also known as the festival of colors or the festival of love. It is an ancient Hindu religious festival which has become popular with non-Hindus in many parts of South Asia, as well as people of other communities outside Asia. It is primarily observed in India, Nepal, and other regions of the world with significant populations of Hindus or people of Indian origin. In recent years, the festival has spread to parts of Europe and North America as a spring celebration of love, frolic, and colors.

 

Cascamorras, Baza, Spain

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The Fiesta de Cascamorras is a festival that takes place in the towns of Guadix and Baza in the province of Granada, Spain, annually on September 6. The two towns fight for possession of a statue of the Virgen de la Piedad and festival goers smear each other with grease. In 2006, the festival was declared a “Fiesta of National Tourist Interest of Spain.” The festival surrounds the recalling of the events that unite and oppose Baza and Guadix, two sister towns with a history of a buried sacred image of the Virgen de la Piedad (Our Lady of Mercy). The celebration, the Fiesta de Cascamorras, lasts for three days each year and is one of the best events in the world for getting dirty.

 

Tomorrowland, Boom, Belgium

Tomorrowland Crowds Enjoying Themselves At Outdoor Music Festival

Tomorrowland is one of the biggest electronic music festivals held in the world, taking place in Belgium. The festival takes place in the town of Boom, 16 kilometers south of Antwerp, 32 kilometers north of Brussels, and has been organized since 2005. Tomorrowland has since become one of the most notable global music festivals. 2011 marked the festival’s expansion to three days. 360,000 people attended Tomorrowland 2014 on the 10th anniversary of the festival.

 

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, New Orleans, LA

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The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, often known as Jazz Fest, is an annual celebration of the music and culture of New Orleans and Louisiana. Use of the term “Jazz Fest” can also include the days surrounding the Festival and the many shows at unaffiliated New Orleans nightclubs scheduled during the Festival event weekends. Jazz Fest is currently held during the day, between the hours of 11 am and 7 pm, at the Fair Grounds Race Course, a horse racing track located in historic Mid-City. It is held on the last weekend of April (Friday-Sunday) and the first weekend of May (Thursday-Sunday) each year.

 

Wexford Opera Festival, Wexford, Ireland

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The Wexford Festival Opera is an opera festival that takes place in the town of Wexford in south-eastern Ireland during the months of October and November. The festival began in 1951 under Tom Walsh and a group of opera lovers who quickly generated considerable interest by programming unusual and rare works, a typical festival staging three operas. This concept has been maintained over the company’s history under the direction of seven different artistic directors. From the beginning, the company embraced new and upcoming young singers, many of whom were Irish, but it also included new international names that made first appearances there.

 

Melt Festival, Gräfenhainichen, Germany

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140 km outside of the German capital of Berlin, this electro and rock festival is located in an abandoned iron plant. With cranes and towering machines all around, the location and atmosphere is nothing short of spectacular. Add 12 stages and a line up filled with the world’s hottest dance acts and you’re in for a good time.

 

Bregenz Festival, Bregenz, Austria

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Bregenzer Festspiele is a performing arts festival which is held every July and August in Bregenz, Austria that is famous for its elaborate sets on the shores of Lake Constance. Founded in 1946, the festival presents a wide variety of musical and theatrical events in several venues, including a floating stage.

 

Lucerne Festival, Lucerne, Switzerland

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The Lucerne Festival is a summer music festival in Lucerne, Switzerland. It was founded in 1938 and, since 2004, it has taken place at the Lucerne Culture and Congress Centre designed by Jean Nouvel. The two resident ensembles of the festival are the Lucerne Festival Orchestra and the Lucerne Festival Strings, which had most recently been led by the Italian conductor Claudio Abbado until his death. In addition to the performances, the Lucerne Festival Academy was founded by the composer Pierre Boulez in 2004 to train young musicians in the performance of modern music.

 

Cork Jazz Festival, Cork City, Ireland

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The Cork Jazz Festival is an annual music festival held in Cork City, Ireland in late October every year since 1978. The festival is Ireland’s biggest jazz event and attracts hundreds of musicians and thousands of music fans to the city each year. The country’s first jazz festival successfully attracted thousands of jazz fans. Guinness became the major sponsor in the 1980s. Over 40,000 people now visit the festival each year making it one of the biggest events in the world of Jazz.

 

North Sea Jazz Festival, Rotterdam, Netherlands

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The North Sea Jazz Festival is an annual festival held each second weekend of July in the Netherlands at the Ahoy venue. It used to be in The Hague but since 2006 it has been held in Rotterdam. The festival has grown to fifteen stages, 1,200 artists and about 25,000 visitors a day. The festival is known worldwide for the many music styles it presents, from traditional New Orleans Jazz to Swing, bebop, fusion, blues, gospel music, funk music, soul music and drum n bass.

 

Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy

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The Venice Biennale is an arts organization based in Venice, and also the original and principal exhibition it organizes. Featuring exhibits all over the city, as well as installations in many public places, the city of Venice comes alive with art during the event. Already a city famous for its striking canals, Venice’s Biennale is truly one of the most unique events around the world.

 

Cannes Film Festival, Cannes, France

(Wikipedia Mossot)

The Cannes Festival, named until 2002 as the International Film Festival (Festival International du Film) and known in English as the Cannes Film Festival, is an annual film festival held in Cannes, France, which previews new films of all genres, including documentaries, from around the world. Founded in 1946, it is considered the most prestigious film festival in the world and is one of the most publicized. The invitation-only festival is held annually (usually in May) at the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès.

 

Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Ashland, OR

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The Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF) is a regional repertory theater in Ashland, Oregon, United States. The festival annually produces eleven plays on three stages during a season that lasts from February to early November. From inception in 1935 through the end of the 2014 season (excepting the war years 1941–1946), the Festival has presented all 37 of Shakespeare’s plays a total of 303 times and 293 other plays a total of 327 times for a total of some 29,200 performances to an audience totaling approximately fifteen million.

 

Salzburg Festival, Salzburg, Austria

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The Salzburg Festival is a prominent festival of music and drama established in 1920. It is held each summer (for five weeks starting in late July) within the Austrian town of Salzburg, the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. One highlight is the annual performance of the Everyman (Jedermann) dramatization by Hugo von Hofmannsthal. Since 1967, there is also an annual Salzburg Easter Festival, organized by a separate organization. The 2006 festival also saw the opening of the Haus für Mozart.

 

Sundance Film Festival, Park City, UT

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The Sundance Film Festival, a program of the Sundance Institute, is an American film festival that takes place annually in Utah. With 46,731 attendees in 2012, it is the largest independent film festival in the United States. Held in January in Park City, Salt Lake City, and Ogden, as well as at the Sundance Resort, the festival is a showcase for new work from American and international independent filmmakers. The festival comprises competitive sections for American and international dramatic and documentary films, both feature-length films and short films, and a group of out-of-competition sections, including NEXT, New Frontier, Spotlight, and Park City at Midnight.

 

Art Deco Weekend, Miami, FL

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Art Deco Weekend is a community festival presented by the Miami Design Preservation League, celebrating architecture, preservation, education, history, advocacy, art, culture and entertainment. It is a community festival held on Ocean Drive in Miami Beach that welcomes over 150,000 people to Miami Beach every year over the 3-day event. Art Deco Weekend is committed to the Miami Design Preservation League’s mission to preserve, protect & promote historic preservation in the Art Deco District and throughout South Florida through the over 85 educational events held during Art Deco Weekend’s 3-day festival.

 

Manhattanhenge, New York, NY

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Manhattanhenge – sometimes referred to as the Manhattan Solstice – is an event during which the setting sun is aligned with the east–west streets of the main street grid of Manhattan, New York City. This occurs twice a year, on dates evenly spaced around the summer solstice. The first Manhattanhenge occurs around May 28 while the second occurs around July 12. The term “Manhattanhenge” was popularized by Neil deGrasse Tyson, an astrophysicist at the American Museum of Natural History and a native New Yorker.

 

Tōrō Nagashi, Sasebo, Japan

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Tōrō nagashi is a Japanese ceremony in which participants float paper lanterns (chōchin) down a river; tōrō is traditionally another word for lantern while nagashi means “cruise, flow.” This is primarily done on the last evening of the Bon Festival based on the belief that this guides the spirits of the departed back to the other world. The Bon Festival takes place on the thirteenth to sixteenth of August or July, depending on the calendar you go by.

 

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, New York, NY

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The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is an annual parade presented by the U.S.-based department store chain Macy’s. The tradition started in 1924, tying it for the second-oldest Thanksgiving parade in the United States with America’s Thanksgiving Parade in Detroit (with both parades being four years younger than the Dunkin’ Donuts Thanksgiving Day Parade in Philadelphia). The three-hour Macy’s event is held in New York City starting at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time on Thanksgiving Day, and has been televised nationally on NBC since 1952.

 

Yom Kippur, Western Wall, Jerusalem

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Yom Kippur, also known as Day of Atonement, is the holiest day of the year in Judaism. Its central themes are atonement and repentance. Jewish people traditionally observe this holy day with an approximate 25-hour period of fasting and intensive prayer, often spending most of the day in synagogue services. Yom Kippur is “the tenth day of [the] seventh month” (Tishrei) and is regarded as the “Sabbath of Sabbaths”. Rosh Hashanah (referred to in the Torah as Yom Teruah) is the first day of that month according to the Hebrew calendar. On this day, forgiveness of sins is also asked of God.

 

Up-Helly-Aa, Shetland, Scotland

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Up Helly Aa refers to any of a variety of fire festivals held in Shetland, in Scotland, annually in the middle of winter to mark the end of the yule season. The festival involves a procession of up to a thousand guizers in Lerwick and considerably lower numbers in the more rural festivals, formed into squads who march through the town or village in a variety of themed costumes. According to John Jamieson’s Etymological Dictionary of the Scottish Language (1818), Up is used in the sense of something being at an end, and derives from the Old Norse word Uppi which is still used in Faroese and Icelandic, while Helly refers to a holy day or festival.

 

Anastenaria Firewalking Ceremony, Greece & Bulgaria

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The Anastenaria is a traditional fire-walking ritual performed in some villages in Northern Greece and Southern Bulgaria. The communities which celebrate this ritual are descended from refugees who entered Greece from Eastern Thrace following the Balkan Wars of 1911–12 and the exchange of populations between Greece and Turkey in 1923. Today, the rituals of the Anastenaria are performed in five villages of northern Greece: Ayia Eleni, Langadas, Melike, Mavrolefke, and Kerkine. In addition, the ritual is still performed in six Bulgarian villages in the Strandzha Mountains: Balgari, Gramatikovo, Slivarovo, Kondolovo, Kosti, and Brodilovo.

 

Take Part in the Hajj Pilgrimage

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The Hajj is an annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, and a mandatory religious duty for Muslims that must be carried out at least once in their lifetime by all adult Muslims, who are physically and financially capable of undertaking the journey, and can support their family during their absence. It is one of the five pillars of Islam, alongside Shahadah, Salat, Zakat, and Sawm. The gathering during Hajj is considered the largest annual gathering of people in the world.

 

Day of the Dead, Mexico City, Mexico

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Day of the Dead is a Mexican holiday celebrated throughout Mexico, in particular, the Central and South regions, and acknowledged around the world in other cultures. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died and help support their spiritual journey. In 2008, the tradition was inscribed in the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. In Spanish, the holiday is called Día de los Muertos.

 

Sun Festival at Abu Simbel, Egypt

Ramses II built his temple at Abu Simbel so that the internal chamber would light up two times a year: once on the anniversary of his ascension to the throne (in February, around the 22nd), and once on his birthday (in October, around the 22nd).

Every year on the Sun Festival, crowds gather before sunrise to observe the stream of light gradually sneaking through the stone and enlightening the statuettes of Ramses, Ra and Amun in the central chamber. Only the statue of Ptah – the god of darkness – remains in the shade even on these two special days of the year!

 

La Tomatina, Valencia, Spain

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One of the most famous festivals in Spain, La Tomatina is a festival that is held in the Valencian town of Buñol, a town located in the East of Spain 30 km / 19 miles from the Mediterranean, in which participants throw tomatoes and get involved in this tomato fight purely for entertainment purposes. Since 1945, it has been held on the last Wednesday of August, during the week of festivities of Buñol. The fight lasts for an hour, after which the whole town square is covered with tomato paste. Fire trucks hose down the streets and participants use hoses that locals provide to remove the tomato paste from their bodies. Some participants go to the pool of “los peñones” to wash. After the cleaning, the village cobblestone streets are pristine due to the acidity of the tomato disinfecting and thoroughly cleaning the surfaces.

 

Purna Kumbh Mela, Ganges River, India

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Kumbh Mela or Kumbha Mela is a mass Hindu pilgrimage of faith in which Hindus gather to bathe in a sacred river. It is considered to be the largest peaceful gathering in the world where around 100 million people were expected to visit during the Maha Kumbh Mela in 2013 in Allahabad. It is held every third year at one of the four places by rotation: Haridwar, Allahabad (Prayaga), Nashik and Ujjain. Thus the Kumbh Mela is held at each of these four places every twelfth year.

 

Cervia International Kite Festival, Cervia, Italy

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The Cervia International Kite Festival is a unique gathering of kite artists from all over the world and the event is in its 33rd edition, meaning that the Festival has been running for quite some time now. There are only a handful of festivals in the world that can show off such a long history and still have the same organizers. Also, the event takes place in a beautiful place: along the beach of Pinarella di Cervia, a popular summer destination in Italy with very warm weather and gentle onshore breezes, making it ideal for kiting. It takes place from 20th April to 1st May.

 

The French Open, Paris, France

french open travel
Starting in late May and ending during the second week of June, the French Open is a fabulous opportunity to see the world’s most romantic sport in the world’s most romantic city. The French Open may be notorious for being the most physically grueling of all of the Grand Slam Tournaments, but it is also the most fashionable which makes for some awesome people watching.
TRAVEL TO THE FRENCH OPEN

 

Monaco Grand Prix, Monaco

monaco travel
Known for its winding roads, gorgeous landscapes, envious wealth and lax tax laws, Monaco is a top destination for the world’s pleasure-seekers all year round. However, each May, the Formula One Grand Prix makes Monaco the number one spot on the map for F1 racing fans and all-around speed demons. It also draws a throng of royal watchers, as the event is overseen, and conspicuously attended, by the country’s posh royal family.MEET ME IN MONACO

 

Boi Bumba, Parintins, Brazil

boi bumba parintins
Boi Bumba, an amazonian folklore festival that takes place in the Parintins municipality of Brazil, is exactly the answer to your woes. This vibrant festival and immersive experience presents colorful, theatrical tellings of the most important legends of Amazonian lore. The elaborate acts include massive parades with intricate sets, tribal rituals, a giant puppet show, a fairytale battle of good vs. evil, huge displays of folk art, fireworks shows, and an all-night party for attendees. At Boi Bumba, you can expect the same sort of contagious celebratory atmosphere and elaborate, colorful costumes that have made Rio’s Carnival world-famous, but with only a fraction of the tourists.

The Great Escape Festival, Brighton, UK

brighton great escape
Quirky, progressive and a little bit naughty, Brighton is a beacon for creatives, laid-back beach lovers, and cultural enthusiasts. Given its Bohemian cred, it should come as no surprise that it is home to one of the coolest music festivals on the planet, the Great Escape Festival, which is held each May. Touted as the British version of South by Southwest, it showcases over 500 emerging artists from all over the world. If you’re the type of music aficionado who loves to claim that you “discovered” a band, this is a can’t-miss event.

 

Hafengeburtstag, Hamburg, Germany

hamburg Hafengeburtstag
To celebrate its famous port, without which the world may have never discovered the Beatles or the Hamburger, the city of Hamburg puts on a huge birthday party each year. One of the most anticipated German festivals, the port anniversary begins with a jaw-dropping parade of ships, which features vessels of every size, shape and age. This event also includes the Hamburg Tugboat Ballet, which showcases the stubby little ships “dancing” to classical music. It is just as charming and goofy as it sounds. As you take in all the maritime glory, you can stroll down the three-mile-long promenade, hitting delicious eateries, unique shops and the St. Pauli fish markets along the way.

 

Cherry Blossom Festival, Kyoto, Japan

cherry blossom festival
Kyoto, Japan is one of the best places to visit in April due to its famously beautiful cherry blossoms. But not only is this ancient city lined with fragrant, pink-flowering trees during the month of April, but many of its historic sites spring to life in celebration. Kyoto’s shrines, temples, city centers, and performance halls host performances and ceremonies during this month. In addition to the sensational Miyako Odori Geisha Dance, which is performed throughout the month with constantly changing sets, women dressed as geishas can be seen strolling the streets of Kyoto. Temples all throughout the Southern Higashiyama District illuminate their buildings and gardens in honor of the cherry blossoms, an experience that is magical and inspiring.

 

Konigsdag, Amsterdam, Netherlands

konigsdag netherlands
Koningsdag, or King’s Day, is celebrated on the birthday of the Dutch King, Willem-Alexander of Orange. A huge street party is held in his honor that includes plenty of orange outfits, street vendors, and boat parties circulating the city’s famous canals. Because street trade goes unregulated on this day, many market stalls, pubs, restaurants, and shops will offer incredible deals and specials that they couldn’t any other time of year. Not only is Koningsdag one of the best times to experience the famous Amsterdam nightlife, it is also a truly unique opportunity to see what a modern monarchy looks like.

 

The Open Championship, Angus, Scotland

the open championship scotland
Also known as the British Open, this golf tournament may just be the grandest stop on the PGA Tour. As the oldest of the four major championships and the only one held outside the United States, it offers a one-of-a-kind glimpse into the ancient homeland of golf. Fans looking for the perfect July vacation ideas will find nothing better than the Open Championship.
ATTEND THE OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP

 

Hermanus Whale Festival, Cape Town, South Africa

hermanus whales south africa
This weeklong event at the end of each September gives over 150,000 visitors each year the chance to see the migration of the Southern Wright Whale up close and personal off the western cape of South Africa. Hermanus, located outside of Cape Town, offers the best land-based whale watching in the world, and this yearly celebration is the single best time to see this magnificent creatures.

 

The Singapore Grand Prix, Singapore

singapore grand prix
Held in the middle of September, this race is one of the most difficult circuits in the entire sport of F1, with 90 degree turns, narrow walls, and countless twists and turns. But after watching a race constructed to be so deliberately difficult, visitors can retreat into a city that is truly a wonder of civil engineering. Not only is the tiny city-state of of Singapore modern, clean, and beautiful, but its nature, food, and cultural attractions make it one of the best places to travel in September.

 

La Mercè, Barcelona, Spain

la merce barcelona
Spain has its fair share of wild, colorful, and relatively dangerous cultural festivals, but la Mercè is truly something special. Beginning on September 21st each year, la Mercè is considered by locals to be Barcelona’s greatest party. Programming for la Mercè takes place throughout the entire city, and the vast majority of events are free to enter. And what you can see truly runs the gamut. One iconic, not-to-be-missed event is the Correfocs, in which people dressed as devils will wield burning pitchforks and march through the streets to an ominous drum beat as spectators run through a tunnel of fireworks. Another event you should make sure to see is the Castellers, a human tower that can be as tall as 10 layers high, acrobatically erected in busy city squares.

 

5 Must See Tennis Tournaments

What a great time to be a tennis fan! The Australian Open just finished a while ago, Wimbledon is almost around the corner. Are you ready to tick off some of the best tennis tournaments off your Bucket List? Let us help you with some suggestions and Must-see, not to miss on tennis events for this yeas as well as the upcoming one.

5 Must See Tennis Tournaments

1. Wimbledon – London (Grand Slam Event)

The very first Wimbledon Championship took place on June 9th, 1877 in Worple Road, Wimbledon. The tournaments was advertised as “a lawn tennis meeting, open to all amateurs”. Women were not allowed to take part until 1884. During the first “meeting” 22 men showed up, cheered by a crowd of 200 people. During those early games, they used wooden rackets and hand-sewn flannel balls. After opening the tournament to both sexes in 1884, Lottie Dod, made a remarkable appearance on the court, and up to this date she is the youngest unbeaten woman to win the title at the age of 15.

The tournament becomes popular a few years later – 1889, when William Renshaw rises up with his seven consecutive victories at Wimbledon. By the early 1990s, the Wimbledon Championships earn international recognition. In 1905, May Sutton, United Stated, wins the championship in Ladies’ Singles, making Wimbledon the first overseas championship.

Wimbledon is also one of the most strict tournament when it comes to dress code. All players must be dressed up entirely in white. If not, they might be asked to change prior to the beginning of the tournament. Roger Federer for example, was asked to do so in 2013, when he wore shoes that have orange soles. Another interesting fact about Wimbledon is that it hosted the longest game – 11 hours in 2010 , when United States player John Isner defeated French player Nicolas Mahut.

Is this amazing tournament on your bucket list? CLICK HERE

5 Must See Tennis Tournaments

Photo from Whoisjohngalt

2. US Open at Arthur Ashe Stadium – Flushing Meadows, NY (Grand Slam Event)

It is the fourth and final of the 4 major events. Combined they form the Annual Grand Slam of tennis. The tournament takes place annually – late August and early September for two weeks period. Since 1978, the tournament takes place at the National Tennis Center (USTA), Flushing Meadows Queens N.Y. , played on acrylic hard courts.

The tournament started developing in the early 1881, growing from the U.S. National Championship. It started as men’s singles and doubles competition. At this time, the tournament was open only to those who were members of the U.S. National Lawn Tennis Association ( USLTA ) – known as USTA nowadays. A few years later, in 1887, the event started expanding by including women’s singles and in 1889 – women’s doubles and mixed doubles in 1892. The U.S. Open was established as a name and a tournament in 1968, when all five tournaments were hosted at the same place for the first time. Throughout the years the tournament has been played on different surfaces – grass, clay and concrete.

3. French Open at Roland Garros – Paris (Grand Slam event)

The story dates form early 1891, when the “French Clay-Court Championships” were created. The official name of the tournament is Les Internationaux De France De Roland-Garros. When the tournament was first established, it was only open to people who are part of French clubs only. The first time a international players was allowed on the court was in 1925 – the year when The French Open was born. The tournament was named after a famous French pilot – Roland Garros.

The only time the event has been canceled is during the Second World War between 1939 – 1945. After the war more international players also started to dominate the court and win titles. First international players to win the tournament were from the United States, followed by the representatives from Australia.

Up to this day, the French Open is the only Slam that is still played on clay. The grounds still remember tennis players like Rafael Nadal who holds 9 French Open titles and Björn Borg with 6, 4 of which between 1978 – 1981.

5 Must See Tennis Tournaments

Photograph by P. Alejandro Díaz

4. The Indian Wells Tennis Masters

Also known as BNP Paribas Open and the WTA Indian Wells Open. It is an annual event, held every March. The tournament takes place at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California, United States.

The tournament dates from the early 1976. Its started as an ATP fundraising event in Tucson, Arizona. Later that year it moved to Mission Hills Country Club in the Coachella valley. It has been taking place there for five years. The connections between the tournament and Coachella valley, went shaky, and they considered building a stadium near Disney World in Florida.

Nowadays, the BNP Paribas Open is by far the largest combined WTA Premier Mandatory and ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event in the world.

5. Australian Open – Melbourne (Grand Slam event)

Australian Open is an annual event held in January. It is the first of the 4 Grand Slam events that take place each year. It features both men’s and women’s singles, men’s, women’s and mixed doubles, junior’s championships.

The first game was held in 1905, knows as the Australian Championship. Afterwards, the event kept on growing, and started being knows as the “happy slam”. It is a tournament that has the highest attendees of all – 780,000 people in 2019. It was also the first event to offer indoor play, in case of rain/heat and bad weather conditions. Up until 1988, players had grass courts. Since then, two types of hard courts have been used – Melbourne Park featuring green colored Rebound Ace up to 2007, followed by blue Plexicushion. Due to the high heat during the month of January when the event takes place, arenas are equipped with retractable roofs.

After its first event at the Warehouseman’s Cricket Ground in St Kilda Road, Melbourne in 1905, the event has been staged in 5 different cities : Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane, Perth as well as twice in New Zealand. The only time the event didn’t take place was between 1916 – 1918 and 1940 – 1945, due to international conflicts.

The 5 Best Places to Travel in June

If there is a single month on the calendar that we look forward to more than any other, it’s June. June just feels like vacation, and is there any better feeling than that?

School is out. The sun is shining. Wedding season is in full swing. The beach is calling your name. And countless gorgeous destinations around the globe are getting ready to welcome the influx of visitors that the onslaught of summer brings. Brainstorming June vacation ideas is a great way to stay positive and have something to look forward to.

Of course, traveling during peak tourist season has its perks and its downfalls. Vacationing in glorious weather when hospitality around the globe is fully-staffed does generally mean higher prices and bigger crowds. But with June offering so many exciting international festivals and events, it’s hard to pass up the smorgasbord of opportunity. But while many of the best places to visit in June may be hot commodities, there are still plenty of lesser-known locales that you should consider for your summer trip.

From the cosmopolitan to the utterly intrepid, here are five of the best places to travel in June:

 

1. Boi Bumba – Parintins, Brazil

Always wanted to go to Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, but hesitant about the massive crowds and tourist traps? Boi Bumba, an amazonian folklore festival that takes place in the Parintins municipality of Brazil, is exactly the answer to your woes. This vibrant festival and immersive experience presents colorful, theatrical tellings of the most important legends of Amazonian lore. The elaborate acts include massive parades with intricate sets, tribal rituals, a giant puppet show, a fairytale battle of good vs. evil, huge displays of folk art, fireworks shows, and an all-night party for attendees. At Boi Bumba, you can expect the same sort of contagious celebratory atmosphere and elaborate, colorful costumes that have made Rio’s Carnival world-famous, but with only a fraction of the tourists. The coastal fisherman town springs to life, with thousands of residents partaking in the performance itself.

paratins brazil best places to travel in june

June may be winter in Brazil, but you’d hardly notice it in this tropical locale. Visitors will be charmed by Partinin’s complete lack of taxicabs in favor of motorbikes and pedal carriages. As an important harbor for Brazil along the Amazon, many of the city’s local restaurants and markets cater to day-long visitors who arrive by boat. That means you’ll have your pick of incredible, freshly caught fish, handmade artisan crafts, and some of the world’s best avocados.

parintins best places to travel in june

 

2. Beijing, China

With a metropolitan population of nearly 25 million, China’s capital city may not seem like the place to go if you want to beat the crowds. But for international tourists, Beijing is actually one of the best places to travel in June. Chinese students are still in school, and not a single national holiday falls during this month. This means, while the locals are hard at work, saving up their vacation days for July or August, you can leisurely explore famous sites like the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, Tianamen Square, and the Temple of Heaven. Plus, Beijing’s June weather is warm but not sweltering, making the pervasive lack of air conditioning throughout the city tolerable.

best places to travel in june beijing

Beijing offers an incredible urban experience distinct from western metropoles, one filled with stark contrasts: wealth and poverty, ancient and high-tech, communism and capitalism, cosmopolitan and provincial, city and nature. With national forests and breath-taking mountain ranges just a few hours outside of the bustling city, Beijing offers a bit of everything and is an ideal place to visit in June.

june vacation ideas beijing

 

3. The French Open – Paris, France

Starting in late May and ending during the second week of June, the French Open is a fabulous opportunity to see the world’s most romantic sport in the world’s most romantic city. The French Open may be notorious for being the most physically grueling of all of the Grand Slam Tournaments, but it is also the most fashionable which makes for some awesome people watching. With no dresscode (a la Wimbledon), athletes at the French Open are sporting trend setting styles. Spectators too, tend to dress well for the event, and the stadiums will be filled with iconic Panama hats.

Panama Hats French Open Tips

Panama Hats are the unofficial uniform for spectators at the French Open.

But beyond the edge-of-your-seat action that the tournament provides, the dreamy Parisian backdrop makes for an incredible place to travel in June. If you are hoping for your June vacation to include wine, cheese, cathedrals, museums, shopping, and freshly-baked croissants – there is no better setting than Paris. But it’s not just the international appeal of the French Open that makes June in Paris so magical. There are plenty of local favorites happening in June, like Paris’s Gay Pride parade, one of the world’s most enthusiastic, and the Fête de la Musique, which celebrates the summer solstice with free concerts and street music all over the city.

best places to travel in june paris

 

4. Etosha National Park, Namibia

June marks the beginning of the dry season in the Namib desert, the time when wildlife viewing in the incredible Etosha National Park is at its best. June is the ideal month for a safari adventure, with sunny but cool temperatures, brilliant nighttime stargazing, and wildlife concentrating along the park’s watering holes. The low grass during this season will make it easy to spot the animals: lions, giraffes, elephants, springboks, gemsboks, zebras, hyenas, rhinos, and many more. While much of neighboring South Africa will be cold and drizzly during June, the air in Namibia is cool, crisp, and perfect for a safari adventure.

best places to visit in june namibia

If your idea of a June vacation involves getting away from it all, Etosha is truly one of the best places to visit in June. This 8,600 square mile park is distinct from many other African game parks. Not only is it gigantic, but it feels much more remote and untouched. For one thing, you are almost guaranteed to spot animals, who roam freely across the vast desert landscape. Secondly, the animals truly rule this roost. Humans are not permitted to leave their vehicles unless in designated camping or viewing areas, and are forbidden from other activities like blasting music, which can frighten the wildlife. To see the full diversity of plants in animals in this gigantic park, rent a car or hire a safari guide. Accommodations are plentiful, and range from luxe bungalows to camping sites.

best places to travel in june etosha

5. International Istanbul Music Festival – Istanbul, Turkey

To hear some of the most hauntingly beautiful music of your life, head to Istanbul, Turkey during the beginning of June. The three-week long International Istanbul Music Festival is one of the ancient, colorful city’s most prestigious events, hosting hundreds of classical music and opera performances throughout Istanbul’s many mosques, cathedrals, and amphitheaters. As you can imagine, the acoustics are simply incredible.

best places to visit in june istanbul

 

But it is not only your sense of sound that will be delighted by a June vacation to Istanbul. The city is gloriously warm and sunny in June, and its location between two temperate seas will give you plenty of coastline where you can swim in warm, blue waters. Istanbul is progressive and cosmopolitan, with bustling music and art scenes, incredible restaurants, and even an ancient wine tradition that its locals have all but forgotten. Istanbul is a favorite vacation destination for much of Western Europe, but June is ahead of the tourist season as school is still in session for most of the continent. Come to Istanbul for the music, stay for vibrant culture and incredible weather. As soon as you step foot into this ancient and fascinating city, you’ll know why it ranks among the best places to travel in June.

best places to travel in june istanbul


Looking for the perfect place to travel this June? Join Bucket List Events at the French Open in Paris. Need more insider recommendations on the top places to travel? Check out our full collection of posts on the best places to travel by month!

The 5 Best Places to Travel in May

May might be the perfect month to travel. The temperature is pleasantly warm, the flowers are blooming and, because summer has not yet officially arrived, travel prices are still relatively low. Best of all, destinations tend to be less crowded and feel more relaxed. After all, the joy of spring brings out the best moods in everyone.

Whether you’re itching to traverse the globe or looking to stay a little closer to home, May has an enthralling festival, a thrilling race, or a breathtaking natural event for you to enjoy. Here are five May vacation ideas that you’ll want to add to your bucket list.

 

1. The Monaco Grand Prix – Monaco

For such a tiny country, Monaco packs a lot of punch. Known for its winding roads, gorgeous landscapes, envious wealth and lax tax laws, it’s a top destination for the world’s pleasure-seekers all year round. However, each May, the Formula One Grand Prix makes Monaco the number one spot on the map for F1 racing fans and all-around speed demons. It also draws a throng of royal watchers, as the event is overseen, and conspicuously attended, by the country’s posh royal family.

The Monaco Grand Prix has been operating on the same city streets since its inaugural running in 1929. With its narrow dimensions and tight corners, it is known as one of the world’s most challenging race courses. It is also one of the most glamorous, prestigious and celebrity-packed events on the planet. Take in the action from a grandstand, a restaurant balcony or even a yacht. Once the excitement is over, head up into the hills and enjoy the natural beauty of the French Riveria or take in the warm sands of a Mediterranean beach.

monaco best places to travel in may

 

2. The Kentucky Derby – Louisville, Kentucky

While the Monaco Grand Prix kicks off the Triple Crown of Motorsport, the Kentucky Derby launches the annual Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing. “The Most Exciting Two Minutes In Sports History” also happens to second as a world-class fashion show and one of the biggest parties of the year. The Kentucky Derby undoubtedly makes Louisville, the event’s host city, one of the best places to visit in May.

kentucky derby clubhouse view

Don’t worry, you don’t have to know a thing about horses to have a good time. All you need is an attention-grabbing outfit, a tasty Mint Julep and a celebratory mood. The joyous Southern atmosphere will take care of the rest.

Kentucky Derby attire is in a league of its own

While in Kentucky, be sure to hit up one, or several, of the area’s world-famous bourbon distilleries. Also, if you’re not afraid of great heights and spectacular views, you can attend the Kentucky Derby Festival Great Balloon Race, which is held the weekend before the Derby.

 

 

3. The Great Escape Festival – Brighton, United Kingdom

Though Brighton has long been a favorite beach getaway for Londoners and other inhabitants of the South of England, this gem of a city is less-known to the rest of the world. Quirky, progressive and a little bit naughty, it is a beacon for creatives, laid-back beach lovers, and cultural enthusiasts. Given its Bohemian cred, it should come as no surprise that it is home to one of the coolest music festivals on the planet, the Great Escape Festival, which is held each May. Touted as the British version of South by Southwest, it showcases over 500 emerging artists from all over the world. If you’re the type of music aficionado who loves to claim that you “discovered” a band, this is a can’t-miss event.

best places to travel in may brighton

Photo by Flickr User Włodi

Brighton also hosts the wildly entertaining Brighton Fringe Festival each May. This month-long event, which is England’s largest open-air arts festival, proudly accepts all forms of art and expression and also offers free workshops and mentorship programs.

If shopping is more your thing, check out the Brighton Lanes, which are filled with hundreds of independent shops, quaint boutiques and old-timey pubs. Meanwhile, the Brighton Palace Pier offers all the ice cream and amusements one could want from a beachfront, and nearby American Express Community Stadium hosts top-notch Premier League football matches, thanks to the recently promoted Brighton and Hove Albion Football Club.

brighton best places to travel in may

 

4. The Hafengeburtstag Port Anniversary – Hamburg, Germany

Truth be told, Hamburg is an amazing place to visit during any month of the year. Historically known as “the gateway to the world,” we Germany’s second-largest city and largest port to thank for introducing the world to both the Beatles and the hamburger. However, it is the annual Hafengeburtstag Port Anniversary, now in its 830th year, that makes Hamburg one of the best places to travel in May.

hafengeburtstag hamburg

One of the most anticipated German festivals each year, the anniversary begins with a jaw-dropping parade of ships, which features vessels of every size, shape and age. This event also includes the Hamburg Tugboat Ballet, which showcases the stubby little ships “dancing” to classical music. It is just as charming and goofy as it sounds. As you take in all the maritime glory, you can stroll down the three-mile-long promenade, hitting delicious eateries, unique shops and the St. Pauli fish markets along the way.

hamburg german festivals hafen

When you’re done with the boating events, take a walking tour of some of the city’s glorious Medieval structures. If music is more your thing, you’re in for a treat. Not only is Hamburg the hometown of Johannes Brahms and Felix Mendelssohn, but it also boasts a dynamic modern music scene.

 

5. Deserts in Bloom – Tucson, Arizona

Deserts provide some of the most beautiful scenery on earth, but the thought of scorching temperatures and dusty trails scare many people off. That’s why Tucson is one of the best places to travel in May. Springtime brings refreshingly cool temperatures, and, thanks to months of winter rain, Arizona’s deserts are lush and blooming with life.

deserts in bloom best places to travel in may

In Tucson’s Saguaro National Park, which is part of the Sonoran Desert, you can encounter huge flowering saguaro cacti and a variety of rare animals, including roadrunner birds, horned lizards, kangaroo rats, collared peccaries and Gila monsters.

Meanwhile, a drive along scenic Gates Pass Road in Tucson Mountain Park offers stunning views of the desert floor. Be sure to pack your camera and your painting canvas to capture the glory, and, if you’d like to get a massage while taking in the views, book a room at one of the area’s many top-notch spas. And if you’re up for camping, there is simply no grander place to sleep under the stars than in the desert.

saguaro national park best places to travel in may

Photo by Chance Kafka

 


Looking for the perfect May vacation filled with excitement and glamour? Join Bucket List Events at the Monaco Grand Prix or the Kentucky Derby! We’ll take care of all of the stresses of hotels and ticketing and leave you to have an unforgettable experience.

For more awesome destinations broken down month-by-month, explore our complete collection of posts on The Best Places to Travel by Month.

Best Winter Festivals and Sport Events in Europe

It is this time of the year – Christmas markets are over, Christmas festivities came to an end, the New Year kicked in. Time for new resolutions and travels. And despite the negative temperatures outside, we should make the most out of it. Europe is a great place to consider during the months between January and March, if you would like to combine festivals and winter sport events. European winter festivals involved everything from ice sculptures, skiing and snowboarding, music, carnivals etc. When it comes to winter sport events, you can enjoy some international events, that prepare a lot of athletes for their participation at the Winter Games in Beijing in 2022 – luge,skiing, snowboarding etc.

Best Winter Festivals and Sport Events in Europe

Carnival of Venice – Italy

Venice is always a travel destination related to long boat rides along the canals during summer. Why not trying it out in winter? If you are up for some fashion, colours, art .. an experience you will never forget, the Carnival of Venice (Carnevale di Venezia) is an experience you will never forget. Enjoying mysterious masked revealers at the beautiful Saint Mark’s Square, elegant gondolas filled with fantasy characters gliding along the city. The festival takes place annually between February 16 – March 5. It is famous for its masks, and there are as many as 3 million people attending every year.

Best Winter Festivals and Sport Events in Europe

Ice Sculpture Festival – Bruges, Belgium

Because traveling is about visiting and exploring places for the first time, how does a visit to The World’s First Digital Ice Art Museum sounds like? Exactly : “Sign me up!” kind of a deal. A mesmerizing combination of 40 artists, 3,000 ice blocks, 100 projections and 523 m2 LED Wall – all in one Ice Palace. And for such an experience – Bruges is the place to go. The small Belgium city always try to offer some new and innovative experiences to its visitors. Besides, you can also enjoy the Ice Sculpture Festival that takes place on annual basis. Every year it gathers artists from all over the world, who turn the picture-perfect city of Bruges into Winter Wonderland. The fascinating snow and ice sculptures represent character from different stories.

Best Winter Festivals and Sport Events in Europe

Photo by Erik Zachte

Amsterdam Light Festival

And if that is something that blows your mind and adventure senses, wait until you find out what the Netherlands has in store for you! Every year the canals of Amsterdam turn into an art exhibition – Amsterdam Light Festival. Weather you opt for a Dinner cruise along the canals or a walk through the city, you will find all different artsy sculptures lightening up your way. The festival attracts artists from all around the world. Some of the artworks are included in the growing permanent collection – Via Light Art Collection, the largest collection of light artworks in the world. Every year the festival goes under a different theme, this time it is “The Medium is the Message”. And could you think of a better end of your day, but sailing up and down the canals in Amsterdam, enjoying a lovely dinner and having such great and artsy artworks around you? Maybe it is even better than the New Years Eve fireworks your neighbour shoots every year!

Snow Bike Festival

If you are seeking some more adrenalin, and actually want to be part of the action – the Swiss Alps is one of the places to be! Every year the Snow Bike Festival takes place in Gstaad. The 4-day mountain bike stage race is the very first UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) race on snow. Over the 4 days, the rides will go over 3 stages. Each stage has a length of 30-35km in length with 750-1000m of climbing. Both amateurs and professionals are welcome, as they have two different categories during the race. And if such an adventure is likely to push your buttons, you can always enjoy the festivities during the race. The festival offers different parties at night and food and drink stands during the day. And after all, you cannot go wrong with a day spend in the mountains, surrounded with breathtaking alpine views. The festival is also an EXPO, so you can find out more about the newest bike advancements as well as latest winter fashion.

Best Winter Festivals and Sport Events in Europe

2019 Luge World Cup

Luge World Cup

Beer + sausages + sports event sounds more like your way of spend the winter holidays? Well, then Germany is the place to be. Besides being famous for the Oktoberfest, southern Bavaria has a lot more to offer when it comes to winter events. This year, Lake Königsee was the host for the Luge World Cup. And if you are in Munich, it is just a couple of hours train ride to get to the mountains. The Luge World Cup is an international event, that is also a preparation for some athletes for their participation at the Beijing 2022 Winter Games. The event lasts 2 days, and on site you can always enjoy a hot cup of glühwein (mulled wine), freshly bakes apple strudel or the famous German sausages. Just a couple of hours drive away is the famous Garmisch-Partenkirchen Olympic Ski Jump, where the 1936 Winter Games took place.

Snowboard World Cup

Snowboarding is your thing?Want to get inspired by some of the best snowboarders out there? Look no more! Bad Gestein, Austria is a hot spot for snowboarders this winter season. It is a perfect place for winter hiking, skiing and snowboarding. This year they hosted the Snowboard World Cup. Imagine snowboarding down the same slopes where some of you favourite snowboard athletes are as well? You can enjoy watching some thrilling competitions, while enjoying a cup of hot chocolate. The area also provides a lot of thermal baths. Can you think of a better way to end a long day in the snow?

www.hostemplo.com

Sitges Carnival – Barcelona, Spain

When it comes to festivals, we cannot help it but think about Spain – sangria, latin beats, tapas? Most of us have heard or attended some of the most popular summer festivals in Spain – Running of The Bulls or La Tomatina. But the country never sleeps! Winter is also a great time to enjoy some carnivals. A great example is the Sitges Carnival – Colourful Costume Carnival. It is known as one of the greatest parties in the country. One of the most emblematic in Europe. Each day the festival includes folk dancing, live music, theatrical performances, children’s activities and more. You can find both young and old, dressed up in colourful costumes, dancing and partying all night to the sounds of the drumming bands. The two largest parades during the carnival feature over 3,000 people and 50 floats. So… Vámonos!

The 8 Best Places to Travel in March

Is there a month on the calendar that holds more excitement and promise than March? The beginnings of spring are in the air, the sleepiness of winter starts to retreat, and world travelers start to get hungry for adventure. A March vacation is ideal in many ways. Traveling in March means warm enough weather to spend a lot of time outdoors, off-season deals on flights and hotels, and an impressive roster of international events. The the entire northern hemisphere is excited about the start of spring, too, and offers plenty of festivals to help you kick it off right.

If you’re looking for the best places to travel in March, we have the scoop of 8 international events and destinations that will make for the perfect early-spring vacation. Whether for this year or next, here are some exciting March vacation ideas to make room for on your bucket list:

1. South by Southwest Festival – Austin, TX

If it is difficult to succinctly sum SXSW up, that is because it has become THE most important international festival for all things on the cutting edge of pop culture. But SXSW isn’t your typical festival held on fenced off festival grounds. SXSW takes over the entire city of Austin – businesses all over the downtown district host events, concerts, and screenings.

best places to travel in march

Held over a two week span, the most influential figures in music, film, and tech converge in Texas’ hip capital city. Big-name bands, indie darlings, and up-and-coming hopefuls all flood into Austin’s many bars and live music venues, with hundreds of concerts held each day. Exclusive film screenings and panel discussions from some of the biggest names in tech will give you plenty to think about in between the incredible party atmosphere.

 

2. Starkbierfest – Munich, Germany

Miss out on Oktoberfest this year? Can’t wait until autumn for more German merriment and beer songs? Held every year at the beginning of March, Munich’s Starkbierfest is the more in-crowd version of the famous Oktoberfest in honor of some seriously boozey brews.

march vacation ideas starkbierfest

Paulanerkeller Main Hall during Starkbierfest

Starkbier, which means strong beer in English, was traditionally brewed during the week following Karneval as a sort of loophole for monks who fasted for lent. Also known as “liquid bread,” Starkbier is so hearty that it helped satiate the monks without counting as real food. Today, Starkbierfest is celebrated across most of Munich’s largest breweries. The beer halls fill with locals and beer lovers looking to put back a few steins of strong beer. Far less crowded than Oktoberfest but with plenty of beer, food, music, and good moods to go around, Starkbierfest is among Germany’s best festivals.

 

3. Holi Festival – India & Nepal

One of the most visually striking festivals in the world, the Festival of Colors is a yearly celebration in Nepal and India in honor of the Lord Vishnu. Meant to ensure a successful and plentiful spring harvest, people across the subcontinent celebrate by smearing colored powder on each other, throwing colored water, and lots of dancing. best places to travel in march

The Holi festival makes for an incredible March vacation idea, filled with fragrant foods and bright colors. Most major cities in India and Nepal host celebrations making the whole region one of the best places to travel in March. But different cities celebrate with their own unique flavor and customs, so pick a city that’s right for you.

 

 

4. Las Fallas – Valencia, Spain

For a few days each March, the Spanish city of Valencia becomes an open-air arts festival. Over 600 giant wooden sculptures called Fallas are installed throughout the city with various elaborate lighting, music, and pyrotechnic displays to match. Official festival programming is filled with special shows and dance parties, and the city streets are bustling with pedestrians, food stands, and markets. Named one of UNESCO’s “Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity” festivals, Las Fallas is an indescribable event worthy of a March vacation.

march vacation las fallas

At the end of the festivals, the sculptures are burned in a breathtaking fire show. Source.

 

5. Museum Night Fever – Brussels, Belgium

Museums make for incredible event venues. So what happens when 27 world-class museums in one of Europe’s most historical and culture-rich cities hosts edgy art events on a single night? The result is Museum Night Fever, one of Brussels’ most anticipated annual events. For less than 30 euros a ticket, you can have access to more than two dozen museums across this picturesque city, hosting all sorts of concerts, exhibitions, parties, installations, and performances.

best places to travel in march

Ben Heine Flesh and Acrylic at Museum Night Fever – 2014. Source.

See elaborate art installations in front of dinosaur bones, concerts in antique auto halls, and elaborate performance art pieces before some of Europe’s greatest painting masterpieces. For anyone who loves visiting museums during their travels, this early-March festival in Brussels is a must-see.

 

6. Northern Lights – Reykjavík , Iceland

Seeing the Northern Lights is an item on many bucket lists, and March is one of the best times to do it. November through March are the darkest months of the year in Iceland, which makes this the peak season to see the Northern Lights. But given Iceland’s brutal winters, travelers generally aren’t eager to head to this tiny island nation when it isn’t summer. March is still chilly in Iceland by most standards, but for those looking to see the Aurora Borealis at its peak should take advantage of the off-season. Not only will you beat the crowds that fill the country during the summer months, but you’ll have prime viewing of the Northern Lights.

march vacation ideas northern lights

 

7. St. Patrick’s Day – Dublin, Ireland

Americans may like to celebrate St. Patty’s Day just as much as the Irish, but there’s nothing quite like the real thing. Dublin’s annual St. Patrick’s Day parade is held each March, filling the city’s winding, maze-like streets with green-clad revelers. While there is certainly a raucous good time to be had in the cities many pubs and breweries, the official celebrations tend to be much tamer and more family-friendly than in the States. Watch the official parade for incredible Irish dancing and music, giant floats, and a ton of national pride.

best march vacation ideas

 

8. Maslenitsa – Russia & Ukraine

Since pagan times, Eastern Orthodox Christians have held a week-long celebration each March in honor of the coming spring. And in countries with winters as brutal as Ukraine and Russia, spring couldn’t come soon enough. And what better way to celebrate the season than with piles and piles of pancakes, colorful costumes, burning effigies, and the storming of a gigantic snow fort?

maslenitsa russian soul

Dmitry Lovetsky / AP (Image Source)

Maslenitsa effectively the Slavic Orthodox version of Carnival, and it similarly takes place just before Lent. Like its western counterparts, Maslenitsa involves a whole lot of feasting before worshipers will need to fast. Blini, thin pancakes, are the main feature of these feasts and are eaten with a variety of toppings and fillings: caviar, jam, sour cream, meats, cheeses, and most notably, butter.

And though the festival has taken on a more explicitly Christian flavor since the fall of the Soviet Union, there is no denying its pagan origins. Take for example many of the events that take place as part of the fesitval: organized fist fights, trained dancing bears, burning effigies, and finally a massive snow fort to be stormed and torn down by hundreds of spectators.

(An English transcription of this video can be found here)

Maslenitsa is celebrated every March throughout Russia and Ukraine, both in large cities and small towns. Information about where to celebrate in Ukraine can be found here and in Russia here.


March is an excellent month to take advantage of the warming weather and off-season prices. Plan your spring vacation to one of these international festivals and events today! Looking for more of the best places to travel in March? Check out our list of 77 International Events for your Bucket List and 17 Extreme Bucket List Items for Adrenaline Junkies. Excited to read more insider recommendations on the top places to travel? Check out our full collection of posts on the best places to travel by month!

 

 

Ernest Hemingway and Pamplona

Where does Hemingway fit in with the San Fermin?

Ubiquitous. That’s the best word to describe the man.

All it takes is a 10 minute walk around Pamplona, and you will likely find yourself face to face with Ernest Hemingway in one form or another.

Wander around the famed Plaza del Toros, and there is his massive head, sporting his customary beard and looking so very stoic, as if this was once his property. As you begin to cross the street to head down the famous Estafeta Street, you are connected by Paseo de Hemingway. About 100 steps later you find yourself looking at a giant mural of the man above a store named “Hemingway’s.”

Ernest Hemingway and Pamplona

Hotel la Perla

Think we’re going overboard with the tributes? Then I would advise you not wander to the neighboring Plaza del Castillo, which features another statue of the great American author. Next to the Hotel La Perla, Hemingway’s favorite hotel that has preserved the room he once frequented over 80 years ago.

You get the point by now. You would think he was the mayor or President or the man who saved the city from a hostile takeover, but no. In this case, the pen is much mightier than the sword, and we’re not talking about matadors here.

Ernest Hemingway is remembered for many things, but it’s his expansive travels and the books they birthed that may be his lasting legacy. These travels served as the inspiration for many of his writings, which included forays to Cuba, Kenya, and many parts of France. But it is his connection with Spain– most notably the San Fermin Festival of Pamplona – that may be the most well known in the often complicated life of Ernest. Furthermore, when you consider the chronological timeline of his publications – despite being a man who was married four times – it can be argued that Pamplona was Ernest Hemingway and PamplonaHemingway’s first true love.

Needless to say, Pamplona loves him back.

While the city’s population has grown to a respectable modern day size of nearly 200,000 people, Pamplona still has the feel of a small town. However, today’s small town feel pales in comparison to the sleepy Spanish town that Hemingway first found after World War One.

Long before Twitter, Facebook, or even cell phones, society learned of the world from either word of mouth, newspapers or books. The San Fermin, which features the Running of the Bulls, had always been a local treasure just waiting for its story to be told, and that’s exactly what Hemingway did. Between 1923 and 1927, he ventured each July to the Northeast corner of Spain to take in the San Fermin.

As Hemingway sipped on a glass of Sangria in 1923, Pamplona was probably not on any map published in the US. It probably would have stayed that way if he had not penned The Sun Also Rises during the Summer of 1925. But he did, and the San Fermin went from what had been a provincial party into an international phenomenon. He would attend the festival nine times in his lifetime, but sadly his view of the celebration changed over time.

Ernest Hemingway and Pamplona

Busted

During his final visit in 1959, Hemingway found a much different Spain than in the roaring 20s. Gone was the vivacious core of the festival, instead replaced by fascist rule of General Franco. In fact, Hemingway’s books weren’t even allowed to be read under this government. This was not the city he had fallen in love with. Shortly before his death, he would seemingly come to regret exposing the well kept secret of the festival, citing that, “Pamplona was rough, as always, overcrowded… I’ve written Pamplona once, and for keeps. It is all there, as it always was, except forty thousand tourists have been added. There were not twenty tourists when I first went there… four decades ago.”

Ouch. That is what the kids would call, “selling out.” But while Hemingway essentially broke up with Pamplona, we’ve looked at all of the details and think he should reconsider. There is still chemistry between the two!

Ernest Hemingway and Pamplona

You’ll see Hemingway all over Pamplona

Walk around any part of Old Town Pamplona, and you can relive the words on the pages. Like Jake Barnes, you can still sip your morning coffee at Café Iruna, “sitting in the comfortable wicker chairs.” Café Iruna itself looks like it from a time machine, and carries the same local authenticity as it did in the novel. While sitting in that wicker chair, you can gaze out onto the Plaza del Castillo, where the characters nurse their morning coffee and spill their evening wine. You’ll also see Bar Torino, better known as Bar Milano in the novel. The landmarks go on and on, just like the legacy of Hemingway in Pamplona.

It is certainly disheartening to read that Hemingway’s love affair with the San Fermin eventually came to an end, but do not let that dissuade from experiencing the festival like his characters once did – because that authenticity is still present in Pamplona.

The magic of The Sun Also Rises is still exists in Pamplona. Let us show you where to find it.

The 7 Best Places to Travel in July

July is the heart of summer. The temperature is high, the days are filled with sunshine, and travelers the world-over dream of beating the heat by embarking on a dream vacation.

The only problem? July is one of the peak travel months around the globe, which means that flights and hotels tend to be pricey and popular locales tend to be packed. To deal with traveling during one of the busiest vacation months of the year, we recommend choosing one of two strategies:

1) Attend a large event that attracts thousands of visitors yearly. Cities that host annual events like these have the infrastructure and programming to keep such a large influx of visitors comfortable and entertained. Plus, the atmosphere during these times is simply incredible. If you want to get a glimpse of normal life in the city, stick around for a few days after the event has ended.

2) Go off the grid to a location that is remote, lesser-known, or low-profile.

Need some July vacation ideas? Here are seven of the best places to travel in July. Some might be lesser-known, but they offer numerous chances to have a memorable and unique trip.

1. The Running of the Bulls – Pamplona, Spain

There is nothing quite like the San Fermin Festival. The weeklong festivities are best known for the event’s highlight – the Running of the Bulls, in which dozens of bulls are unleashed into the winding Pamplona streets to chase daring participants. The bull run will get your adrenaline pumping even if you are just spectator, but there is plenty more fun to partake in including a rocket launch, processions, parades, fireworks, sport matches, dance parties, and a closing ceremony. Our top tip for a Pamplona vacation in July? Plan early to get a balcony with a prime view of the run.

Running of the Bulls Pamplona balcony view

But don’t head all the way to Spain just to stay in Pamplona! Since you will likely be flying into Barcelona anyways, we recommend enjoying the roadtrip between Barcelona and Pamplona. Whether you take the train to explore the gorgeous city of Zaragosa and its beautiful cathedral or rent a car to visit the Pyrenees mountains in the stunning village of Alquezar, you can’t go wrong. Spend a dedicated chunk of time in Barcelona too, one of our favorite cities to visit in July or anytime really.

pamplona to barcelona

Alquezar: This sleepy town of 301 residents will take your breath away.

 

2. Prokletije – the Albanian Alps

The European continent is so densely populated and developed, we often forget that there remains pristine and untouched wilderness between the many European metropolises. The Albanian Alps, also known as the Accursed Mountains, are one such place. Lying on the western Balkan peninsula between Northern Albania and eastern Montenegro, this mountain range got its name for being “insurmountable” and “wild.” In fact, this is one of the only European mountain ranges that has never been entirely explored. Those looking to get off the grid will find their peace in Accursed Mountains.

The Albanian Alps are home to Europe’s southernmost glaciers, a unique feature that is strikingly visible in the terrain. Erosion from the glaciers has resulted in incredibly steep limestone slopes, rugged cliff faces, deep canyons, and valleys filled with glacial lakes, whose icey waters are absolutely dreamy in July. The untouched lands are also home to some of Europe’s most incredible wildlife, including bears, otters, wolves, chamois, and the highly endangered Balkan lynx cat.

 

3. Wimbledon – London, England

Want to watch the oldest and most prestigious tennis tournament in the world? Go to Wimbledon. The competitors dress in white, but spectators have more freedom, though they tend to dress up and wear straw hats. Spend time at the All England Club and watch this Grand Slam tournament unfold. Savor the treat of strawberries and cream and cheer on your favorite players. Wimbledon has much cultural significance as it is all about tradition. The games are still played on grass and millions of people still watch, breathless, as some of the world’s best tennis players battle it out for prizes. Get in on the action and see some matches in the place where it happens.

England’s capital offers many chances for exploration and is a global favorite for international visitors. Sample food as diverse as London’s residents, experience incredible second-hand shopping, and explore vibrant neighborhoods like Knightsbridge and Notting Hill. The city’s cultural attractions are some of the best ways to spend a night. Take in a show at a West End theatre, or attend a BBC Proms classical music performance at Royal Albert Hall.

 

4. Córdoba, Argentina

In the heat of the northern hemisphere summer, why not head south? Córdoba is Argentina’s second largest city and boasts incredibly warm winters especially in comparison to Buenos Aries. Though July is technically the coldest month of the year, it is not unusual for the temperature to rise above 80 °F. This city of nearly two million residents offers striking contrasts between historical monuments preserved from Spanish colonial rule and highly-modern industry and architecture.

Winter in Córdoba is the perfect time to try some of the hearty regional dishes, including empanadas corobeses and locro, a meaty stew filled with potato, corn, and pumpkin. Explore the many musuems, cathedrals, and artisan street markets the city has to offer during the day, then enjoy the booming nightlife after dark – cuarteto beats and Fernet with Coke abound. Take a weekend out to the countryside and hike and ride horses among real-life gauchos in the nearby Sierras de Córdoba. The perfect mixture of cool weather, culture, nature, and off-season make Córdoba, Argentina among the most perfect places to visit in July.

 

5. Comic-Con – San Diego, California

Nerds and geeks of all shapes, sizes, species, and fandoms show up in droves for Comic-Con. This multi-day event brings awareness and appreciation for comics and art, and is perhaps most famous for the elaborate Cosplay of its attendees. Attend workshops, panels, film and anime screenings, competitions and art shows. Meander through the massive Exhibition Hall, and get autographs from your favorite actors, authors and artists. The nighttime parties, hosted and attended by celebrities, organizations and media companies, such as Buzzfeed, IMDb and Warner Bros., offer chances to let loose after long days of attending various events. Between the costumes and the celebrities in attendance, Comic-Con truly offers some of the greatest people watching in the world.

But it’s not just your nerdy side that will be delighted to visit San Diego. This Pacific coastal city has some must-visit attractions, including the sprawling Balboa Park and San Diego Zoo. Check out Queen Califia’s Magical Circle, a sculpture and mosaic garden that most visitors do not know about. From its seemingly perfect weather and multiple beaches to the friendly locals and fascinating sights, it is clear why San Diego (Comic-Con or not) can compete as one of the best places to travel in July.

 

6. Fiji – South Pacific

Looking to escape to a tropical paradise? Look no further than one of the best places to visit in July, the South Pacific islands of Fiji. Whether enjoy traveling in luxury or roughing it, Fiji offers accommodations to fit your style from five-star resorts to camping and hostels.

July may be the dry season in Fiji, but this comes with some major perks. For one thing, you won’t have to deal with the daily downpours characteristic of the rainy season. Secondly the water is clearer than any other time of the year, which makes diving and viewing sea creatures and snorkeling all the more interesting. The Bua Province’s Namena Marine Reserve is over 27 miles long, and it stretches between the Viti Levu and Vanua Levu islands. It is one of the most beautiful places to dive in the country, and is home to 1,000s of fish species and at least 400 corals and marine plants. To fully experience all that Fiji has to offer, consider joining a tour that offers trips to caves, lagoons and the chance to participate in water sports. Options are plentiful, and many interests can be accommodated.

 

7. The Open Championship – Angus, Scotland

Also known as the British Open, this golf tournament may just be the grandest stop on the PGA Tour. As the oldest of the four major championships and the only one held outside the United States, it offers a one-of-a-kind glimpse into the ancient homeland of golf. Fans looking for the perfect July vacation ideas will find nothing better than the Open Championship.

the open championships

Held at the rustic Carnoustie Golf Club in Angus, Scotland, this tournament has been running since 1860. With such gorgeous scenery and so many years of tradition, the Open Championship has an unmistakable charm. But you don’t even need to be a fan of golf to enjoy this incredible location. Scotland is famous for its overcast, drizzly weather; July is simply the best time to get a glimpse of its sprawling, lush highlands with a healthy dose of sunshine. Clamber on ancient ruins, explore medieval abbeys, and stand on the edge of oceanside cliffs in this remarkable location filled with one-of-a-kind scenery.

angus scotland best places to travel in july

 

 


Looking for more insider recommendations on the top places to travel? Check out our full collection of posts on the best places to travel by month!

Imagination running wild with July vacation ideas? Let us make your dream vacation a reality! Join Bucket List Events this summer at The Running of the Bulls , the Open Championship, or Wimbledon.

10 Festivals in Germany Worthy of any Bucket List

Serious. Humorless. Punctual. We’ve all heard the stereotypes that would lead us to believe that Germans are among the least fun people on this planet.

But we’re going to let you in on a little secret that more than 30 million annual international visitors already know: Germany is seriously fun.

From clubbing in Berlin to hiking in the Black Forest to touring medieval castles and palaces to their love of nude beaches and resorts, Germany has something to match everyone’s definition of fun.

German festivals and events are plentiful, and an amazing chance to immerse yourself in the warmest and most fun-loving parts of German culture. Here are ten festivals in Germany that you need to attend for a stereotype-defying good time, ranging from traditional to hip, posh to sloshed.

 

1. Oktoberfest, Munich

What started as a royal wedding celebration is now the largest folk festival in the world, drawing crowds of nearly 7 million people consuming nearly 8 million liters of beer. The Bavarian capital of Munich is among Germany’s most beloved tourist destinations and is filled with castles, palaces, monuments, and gorgeous architecture. Oktoberfest is the most famous of all traditional German festivals. During the two weeks of Oktoberfest each fall, the entire city is in Dirndl and Lederhosen and huge crowds join in on the drinking, eating, and merriment on the Wies’n. More than just drinking (though drinking obviously takes center stage), the festival grounds are decked out with rides, games, shops, and food stands.

oktoberfest german festivals

Music, beer, Lederhosen… what else do you need?

Though Munich’s Oktoberfest is the largest, many cities in Germany hold their own folk festivals at this time. Huge fairs with plentiful beer and traditional German dress can also be found at the Cannstatter Volksfest in Stuttgart or the Cranger Kirmes in Herne, both of which also draw crowds in the millions.

But Oktoberfest isn’t only about beer and getting drunk. Half of the fairgrounds include carnival rides and games, and the “Old Oktoberfest” section is less raucous and includes more traditional tents. In some years, there is a wine tent where you can try out German wines. Otherwise, if you want a break from the crowds, the smaller tents are more like restaurants, and specialize in a certain meal while serving you a liter of beer as well. Furthermore, the biergartens are attached to every big tent and offer you some fresh air and a more casual, conversational atmosphere than inside the tents.

2. DFB Pokal, Berlin

If you’ve ever believed Germans to be stoic, you’ve never seen them at a soccer game. Like most Europeans, Germans are crazy for football and often have a deep-seeded loyalty for their regional team. Held annually, the DFB Pokal is a knockout tournament for 64 of Germany’s top qualified football teams. The final, which takes place in summer in Berlin’s Olympic Stadium, is the German equivalent of the Superbowl. Rivalries run high. Face paints and banners as far as the eye can see. Singing, cheering, open weeping, and the occasional streaker make the DFB Pokal Final one of the wildest and most emotional annual events in Germany.

dfb pokal germany events

Borussia Dortmund takes home the title as 2017 DFB Pokal Champions. Source.

3. Karneval, Cologne

Originating in Venice, Carnival is now celebrated all over the world from New Orleans to Rio de Janeiro. Each has its own unique flavor, and the German version is something like a two-week long costume party. This is especially true in Cologne, a city famous for its Karneval celebrations.

events in germany

Performers during the Rose Monday Parade in Cologne, Germany. Image Source.

The biggest event of the season is Rose Monday, when 74 decorated floats, 67 tractors, and 50 Ford Trucks promenade for 3 hours through a 6km track of downtown Cologne. Performers in the parade toss sweets, flowers, and plush toys to the spectators, the vast majority of whom are dressed in their wackiest costume. The parade also tends to be filled with political satire, with many floats featuring caricatures of European politicians.

The whole week is, like most traditional German festivals, accompanied by heavy drinking and lots of dancing. Come for the Rosenmontag parade but stay the whole week to attend all of the amazing concerts, parties, and events that go on as part of Karneval.

german celebrations carnival

Cologne is filled with costume parties and concerts during Karneval. Photo by Martin Terber.

 

4. Asparagus- and Onionfest, Schwetzingen & Weimar

German food isn’t exactly adored world-wide. Known to consist mostly of meat and potatoes, German cuisine tends to be pretty heavy on the basics. Perhaps that is why there are several traditional festivals in Germany dedicated to the country’s staple crops.

onionfest germany

Have you ever seen anyone so excited about onions? Source.

Thanks to Germany’s long and persisting farmer culture, there are festivals throughout the country to celebrate each important harvest, with two crops in particular reigning supreme. Though German food festivals dedicated to each foodstuff can be found in most any region where the crop is grown, the Onionfest (Zwiebelnfest) in Weimar and Asparagusfest (Spargelfest) in Schwetzingen are two of the largest and most well-known harvest festivals in the country. Not only can you buy the freshest picks of the season, you can also try plenty of dishes based around the vegetable of the moment and pick up asparagus- or onion-themed costumes.

 

5. Reeperbahn, Hamburg

Europe’s largest club festival and the German equivalent of SXSW, Reeperbahn is a music festival spread out the beautiful northern port city of Hamburg. Instead of being held in one dedicated location, the majority of bars, clubs, and music venues throughout the city host upwards of 800 concerts over the course of four days in September. Reeperbahn is where music labels’ newest darlings make their debuts and the next stars are discovered. Label scouts, indie hopefuls, and underground music fans turn out by the tens of thousands.

Reeperbahn german festivals

During Reeperbahn, the entire city of Hamburg comes alive with music. Source.

 

6. Berlinale, Berlin

The largest international film fest in the world, the Berlinale has been held annually since 1978. With more than 400 films screened, all competing for 20 prizes called Gold or Silver Bears, the Berlinale showcases the world’s elite cinematic talent in most every genre.

berlinale german festivals

The Berlin International Film Festival is one of Europe’s most prestigious red carpet events. Source.

Although it is of the most hyped red-carpet events in all of Europe, Berlinale is distinct from many other film festivals in that it is accessible for people outside of the film industry. While many renowned film festivals are invite-only (Cannes) or require purchasing an access badge for thousands of dollars (Sundance, SXSW), Berlinale sells public tickets for single screenings. And at around 12 euros a pop, it’s really not much pricier than seeing a movie in theaters.

 

7. Wurstmarkt, Bad Dürkheim

Drawing crowds of more than 600,000 people each September, Wurstmarkt is the world’s largest wine festival and dates back to 1417. Wurst means sausage, which is just as plentiful as the wine, making this traditional German festival a gluttonous good time. With 36 historic wineries in the region that cultivate primarily Riesling, Pinot, and Gewurztraminer, there is lots and lots of tasting to be done. Locals say that there are only two seasons in Bad Dürkheim: before and after Wurstmarkt. No one has much recollection of what happens in between.

wurstmarkt festival in germany

Traveling to Germany but not a fan of beer? Europe’s largest wine festival has you covered. Source.

 

8. Walpurgisnacht, Heidelberg

On the top of Heiligenberg Mountain in the quaint university city of Heidelberg, a massive open-air amphitheater lays in ruin. The ruins are known as the Thingstätte, and are one of the only remaining relics of architecture built by the Nazis in the area. The Thingstätte is no longer in use, and today is only visited by hikers. That is, except for on the night of April 30th each year, when tens of thousands of torch-bearing people hike up the mountain and pile inside of it.

german celebrations walpurgisnacht

What better place to commemorate burning witches than in the ruins of a Nazi-built amphitheater on top of a secluded mountain?

Walpurgis Night is in honor of the 8th century abbess Walpurga, who is celebrated by German Christians as having battled disease, rabies, whooping cough, and witchcraft. But the celebrations in Heidelberg are far more tongue-in-cheek than religious. Legend has it that witches would convene atop a mountain in the Brocken region each year, which Christians would then counter by praying through St. Walpurga’s intercession. By gathering in the Thingstätte for a massive bonfire, drinking, and general merry-making, this pilgrimage is more in celebration of hocus pocus than any saint.

 

9. Unity Day, Berlin

October 3rd is the largest national holiday in Germany, the German equivalent of the 4th of July. It commemorates the 1989 reunification of East and West Germany after the fall of the Berlin Wall. While most every German city holds official celebrations on the holiday, there is no celebration quite like the one in the capital city, where the effects of the wall were most acutely felt.

Day of German Unity Berlin

Photo by Juska Wendland.

Every year, Berlin celebrates this momentous occasion with a huge city-wide festival. Fair grounds are erected, open-air concerts take place at the Brandenburg Gate, a parade marches through downtown, and art and history exhibits are installed all along the remains of the Berlin Wall. In a city where the memory of the Wall and separation is still relatively fresh, the annual celebrations in Berlin take on a distinct character that are unrivaled by any other German city. Being in Berlin for German Unity day means you’ll have no shortage of things to do and see.

german unity day berlin

Photo by Juska Wendland.

 

10. Hafengeburtstag, Hamburg

The sparkling northern city of Hamburg has huge significance in western culture. As a major seaport founded at the end of the 12 century, Hamburg has been a historical trade hub without which the rest of the world may have never discovered The Beatles or the hamburger. To honor the port that has contributed so much to western culture, the people Hamburg celebrate it’s birthday each year on the first weekend of May with a massive festival called Hafengeburtstag. More than one million people attend sprawling festival complete with boat shows, fireworks, concerts, and an open-air fair.

hafengeburtstag hamburg german festivals

Fans of old-timey ships will have plenty to do, with hundreds of boats with elaborate sails pouring into the harbor for water parades, races, and tours of the decks. But Hafengeburtstag isn’t just for sea vessel enthusiasts! Foodies will find plenty of delicious, freshly caught surf at the hundreds of streetfood stands; the city’s beer halls fill to the brim; those looking to party can partake in raves on boats; even rockstars as big as Rammstein have performed at the festival. The beautiful city of Hamburg is truly electric during Hafengeburtstag, offering a wide variety of programming that has something for everyone from families to history buffs to party-goers.

hamburg german festivals hafen

 

 


Festivals in Germany are some of the best and friendliest in the world! Want to witness the world’s largest folk festival in one of Europe’s most beautiful cities? Get your Lederhosen ready and travel with Bucket List Events to Oktoberfest, the king of German festivals.

 

Read our Oktoberfest Guide