The London Olympics may be grabbing the spotlight, but the rest of Europe is gearing up for a gold-medal summer. Whether it’s sports, music or culture you’re after, check out the top 10 must-see events taking place across The Pond over the next couple of months, courtesy of Expedia.ca. London may not be calling, but Europe certainly is.
1. Euro 2012, Poland/Ukraine
June 8-July 1
Football (aka soccer) fans may have to wait until 2014 for the next World Cup, but in the meantime satiate your appetite at the European playoffs. Catch a match on one of eight fields including Poland’s brand-new National Warsaw Stadium or one of the world’s largest soccer venues, the Ukraine’s Olympic Stadium in Kiev.
V Festival, U.K. Photo courtesy of Virgin Media
2. The Festival Scene, U.K.
Isle of Wight, Newport, Isle of Wight (June 22-24)
T in the Park, Kinross-Shire, Scotland (July 6-8)
V Festival, Chelmsford/Staffordshire (Aug. 18-19)
Reading Festival, Leeds (Aug. 24-26)
With some creative planning, music lovers can catch all four of these legendary festivals for an unforgettable summer. Party rock is in the house with electronic artists like LMFAO and David Guetta while rock legends Pearl Jam and Bruce Springsteen jam on the main stages.
3. Christopher Street Day Parade, Germany
Party with pride as Christopher Street Day celebrations take over almost every major German city with Berlin and Cologne boasting record-breaking attendance. If you thought Germans could pull off lederhosen, just wait until you see what fashion statements hit the streets during these festivities.
4. Tour de France, France
June 30-July 22
The world’s most famous bike race covers more than 3,400 km — the equivalent of riding from Toronto to Calgary! Competitors race through well-known cities like Paris and Macon as well as hidden French gems like Bonneval, cited as one of the most beautiful villages in France.
Palio di Siena, Italy. Photo courtesy of ilpalio.org
5. Palio di Siena, Siena, Italy
July 2 & Aug. 15
Held twice a year — and usually lasting no longer than 90 seconds — this famous bareback horse race turns otherwise friendly neighbours into archrivals. A tradition since the 16th century, the Palio is a colourful, frenetic experience where the race is won whether the jockey is still on the winning horse or not.
6. Roskilde Musik Festival, Roskilde, Denmark
One of the largest music festivals in Europe, Roskilde promises an eclectic mix of more than 150 artists — including local-bred talent, but also well-known acts from the U.S. and U.K. including The Roots, Bon Iver and The Cure. Discover Danish hip hop, schizo-pop, synthetic funk alongside some good old rock n’ roll at the only festival that offers music lovers the chance to participate in a Nude Run to win tickets for the next year’s festival.
7. San Fermin Running of the Bulls, Pamplona, Spain
This annual event was immortalized by Ernest Hemingway in The Sun Also Rises and attracts more than one million spectators each year. Not for the faint of heart or the slow-footed, the event sees hundreds of people racing to stay ahead of six bulls and another six steers down an 825-metre stretch of narrow streets.
8. Exit Festival, Novi Sad, Serbia
What started off as a political protest has grown into one of Europe’s largest music festivals. The Exit gives concert-goers a unique opportunity to explore underground passages while checking out headliners Duran Duran, New Order, Plan B and Guns n’ Roses, held in the 18th century Petrovaradin Fortress.
La Tomatina, Spain. Photo courtesy of Palace Tours
9. Uitmarkt, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Think Amsterdam is all about red lights, coffee shops and canals? Uitmarkt Festival gives a nod to Amsterdam’s more cultured side, attracting a half-million music, food and literature lovers to three of the city’s main parks.
10. La Tomatina, Bunol, Spain
Have you lived your life to the fullest if you haven’t been pummeled by more than 100 metric tons of ripe, Spanish tomatoes? La Tomatina, also known as the world’s biggest food fight, gives new meaning to the Spanish word “salsa.”
If you’re thinking of a trip across The Pond, check out Expedia.ca’s Europe Sale, which offers savings of up to 30 per cent — plus a free city tour in select cities.
Date Added: April 26, 2012 | Comments (1)
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Comment by Expedia — May 24, 2012 @ 10:17 pm