Travel Hacks

The top festivals in Europe you need to know about!

Waking up in a pool of both sweat and regret courtesy of the heat trap of a tent that you picked up just the night before from the local supermarket. the smell of stale beer soaking its way into your favourite sweater and the crunch of a discarded half-drank can under your foot as you make your way over to the makeshift restrooms (that can only be described as a genuine health risk). Ahh festival season…we’ve missed you. Calling all festivalgoers, music lovers and all-round good time chasers…ever wanted to check out some of the hottest music festivals in Europe? Well, there has never been a better time to dust off your staple pair of Doc Martins and get out there!

It has been a rough few years for the festival & entertainment industry with most things “fun” being put on the backburner for the best part of two years. However, for the most part, it feels like this year, we may get a totally normal festival-infested summer and we’re totally here for it. So, let’s all embrace not having a shower for 4 days and get into it…here is your countdown of some of the largest open-air music festivals in Europe!

Tomorrowland - Where - Belgium - When - 15 – 31st July

What to expect – If you know anything about Contiki you know that we rave on about (pardon the pun) social travel. The idea of connecting and experiencing things with others from all walks of life. Well, Tomorrowland is kind of this idea personified into 3 weekends of EDM loving madness. 2022 is expecting to see 600,000 people from across the globe make an appearance across the set dates…200,000 more than just a couple of years back in 2019! So strap in for the biggest, most iconic electronic music festival on the planet and get ready to witness something beautiful….and some pretty weird shit chucked in for good measure.


All Points East - Where - London - When - 19th Aug – Sun 28th

What to expect – a staple for all music lovers in London. For the first time ever, APE will be spread across three weekends in August held in the wonderful, East London social hub of Victoria Park. Typical of the APE format you will most likely find a date or two that are more suited to your music tastes. However, if you are Londoner expect to bump into 27 people you went to school with, a few ex’s and that person you ghosted on Hinge.

APE also puts on “Field Day” which acts as a sister festival for those looking for a “dancier” (and younger) kinda vibe. All in all…APE provides a day festival that can have you raving all day long and back in your own bed by sunrise (maybe).

Primavera Sound Where – Barcelona - When - 2nd June – Sunday 12th June

What to expect – This festival has been gathering heaps of momentum throughout the UK over the last couple of years with 2022 being no exception! With a line-up to rival even festival giants such as Glastonbury, this one is going to make some serious noise…literally. Also dubbed as having one of the best sound systems out there as festivals go, we are hyped to see the reviews coming out of this year’s event.  Expect sun, sea and Estella by the bucket load.

Pride Celebrations - Where - All over Spain - When - 24th June – 3rd July

What to expect – Pride within Spain seems to be getting bigger and more colourful each year which it’s huge LGBTQ+ party scene! Full of good times, good vibes and if the pictures are anything to go by…more six-packs than an episode of Jersey Shore. This is one party that will not be forgotten easily! Taking place across Spain you can expect to see events taking place in Madrid, Barcelona, Maspalomas, Valencia, IBIZA and many more Spanish hot spots. So plan your outfits accordingly and get creative to show your love for the community.

Did you know Contiki have Pride Trips? Party with your LGBTQ+ Contiki crew (and even fit in a bit of culture when you can), all under the Spanish sun. Festivals don’t get much better than that.

Hideout Festival - When - 3rd – 7th July

What to expect – Another one that’s popular among the Brits, Hideout festival is known for its sun, sea and house DJs galore. Set on the beautiful beach of Zrce on the island of Pag, get ready to experience some serious day partying with antics that would have your mum on the first flight out to Croatia to drag you home by your ear. Unlike its zen-like surroundings do not get any ideas about having a chilled one on this all out two-stepping marathon. Don’t forget your man bag (Not sure what else to bring check out our packing guide here).

St Patricks Day - When – 17th March 2023 - Where – Ireland

What to expect – You may not instantly think of this one as a music festival…but if you know anything about the Irish you know that any excuse for a good time is taken seriously, and in Ireland, an excuse for a good time does not get much bigger than St Patricks Day. Make your way into Dublin during this festive period and expect to be introduced to some of Ireland’s top upcoming musicians performing on every street corner, pub and café in town (also plenty of fancy dress). Grab your Guinness and whisky chaser and embrace this celebration of Irish culture and tradition! (And get planning your trip for 2023 with Contiki).

Parklife Festival - Where – Manchester - When - June 11th – 12th

What to expect – PARKLIFE! Ready to return for its 12th year in the UK cultural hub of Manchester, Parklife returns with its huge…genuinely HUGE line-up. Whoever managed to conjure up this spectacle of artists deserves a pay rise!  Tylor The Creator, 50 cent, Loyle Carner, Peggy Gou, Arlo parks…honestly check this out – – Expect a full-on party experience that doesn’t hold back. Oh, also expect a fair few bucket hats…definitely a few bucket hats.

Sziget Festival - Where – Budapest - Where - 10th Aug – 15th Aug

What to expect – There is definitely something in the water this year when it comes to massive line ups and Sziget has not dropped the ball on this trend. Dua Lipa, KOL, Arctic Monkeys, Justin Bieber, Calvin Harris and Tame Impala just to name a few are set to take the stage at this “Island Of Freedom” festival. Expect all-round good, chilled out sexy vibes (along with some sun, sea and sand action) at this awesome party-packed festival.

NOS Alive - Where – Portugal - When - 6th July – 9th July

What to expect – Sun, cold beers and banging alternative tunes. What more could you want from this legendary Portugal based festival? With a few indie legends in the mixer such as The Strokes, Alt-J, Jungle, HAIM, Two Door Cinema Club and others (Not to mention some wild cards such as hip hop legend Stromzy & rock gods Metallica) we can’t wait for this one. Coming out of Lisbon whilst you are there don’t forget to check out this beautiful city with Contiki!!

Where - Serbia – When - 7th July – Sunday 10th July

What to expect – So when you are thinking about what festivals in Europe to book next, Serbia might not be the first place that pops into your mind…well we are here to tell you that it should be. Taking place within the walls of the spectacular Periovarian Fortress & with the motto “Together always” this Dance music-focused festival has a real emphasis on happiness and love…this is the kind of vibe we can get behind when thinking of what festivals in Europe to hit up next. Go to this one for the pure vibe alone…and get down to Calvin Harris whilst you are at it!

Oktoberfest - Where – Munich When - 17th September – 3rd October

What to expect – Ok ok so again… it is not technically a music festival, but a festival in Europe it is nonetheless (and there’s plenty of music). Welcome to the biggest beer festival and travelling fairground on the planet. Did someone say heaven? Get your Steins at the ready and be prepared for cheesy tunes, even worse fancy dress and a few footlong hotdogs thrown in to get the party started. Make the most of your time in Munich to get out and about in one of our favourite cities in the world. Attend with Contiki and start the party before you arrive. Also, if you are like us and look for any excuse to wear knee-high socks and suspenders then this is for you!

The Contiki Chateau Big Weekender – Where – Lyon, France - When – 5th – 7th Aug

Exclusivity. Freedom. Once in a lifetime opportunity…basically, If Contiki did Fyre Festival this is how it would have gone down. Are you ready to live the high life in this truly unique weekend away??

Newly renovated for 2022 this chic AF Chateau has enough wow factor to have your entire Instagram following sliding into your DM’s asking where the F*** you are. Will there be parties I hear you ask? Will there be live music? Pool parties? And dancing the night away? All of the above. Best of all, the bar is always open and guess what…you don’t have to wait 35 minutes to grab a drink, the toilets don’t look like a murder scene, the bedsheets are clean (when you arrive anyway), the showers are warm and readily available, you don’t have to pay $20 for a bacon sandwich AND you will NEVER have to wee in a cup (unless you know about some weird game we don’t).

This is the festival experience without the faff…and perhaps without the A-List Musical talent but the vibe is there, we promise.

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