Experience the Sounds of the Summer with Booking.com
For many, festivals are an annual summer staple and ultimate experience - and Europe truly spoils for choice with its range of festivals celebrating rock and pop, folklore, Americana, reggae, and even German beer.
With festivals ever expanding and set in idyllic locations all over Europe, visitors are turning their festival trip into a longer holiday, so as well as spending time at sun-drenched parties, drinking warm beer and dancing to some of the best live music, you can enjoy some much needed rest and relaxation in beautiful European cities.
According to data from Booking.com the top music festival lovers are Brazil and China, with over a quarter (26%) of them booking their holiday with a music festival in mind. The USA are also big fans of festival trips, with almost one in four (23%) booking destinations because of a festival. In fact, globally, almost one in five (18%) of booked trips in the past 12 months were chosen to visit a festival or concert.*
Top Five Festival Loving Countries*
If you like the sound of dancing in the midnight sun, sampling delicious tapas or raving to the world’s best rock, pop, hip-hop and dance music, then there will be something for you. Booking.com has looked at some of the best festivals in Europe and have the low down on the most awesome accommodation in each city, according to more than 91 million recent reviews from real travellers in the know.
- Iceland, Reykjavik (Secret Solstice 16-18 June 2017)
Nowhere celebrates mid-summer like Iceland, when local folklore would have you believe that elves come out to party. You’ll be dancing under the midnight sun to acts such as Foo Fighters, The Prodigy and Rick Ross at this year’s Secret Solstice. Afterwards take time to explore Iceland’s otherworldly landscapes and geothermal springs. The top nationalities booking this destination over this time are the US, Germany and the UK.
Where to stay: Unwind at the luxurious Black Pearl Apartment Hotel in central Reykjavik, just 350 metres from Old Reykjavik Harbour. Relax after you’ve partied the night away and indulge in Icelandic delights at the nearby restaurants and take time to explore the area - Reykjavík Art Museum and Volcano House Exhibition Cinema are close by, as well as Harpa Concert Hall, Hallgrímskirkja Church and Reykjavik Swimming Pool.
- Somerset, UK (Glastonbury 21-25 June 2017)
The festival of all festivals: Glastonbury. Now the world’s biggest festival and getting louder and weirder every year, make sure you come equipped with wellies and sun cream. The top nationalities booking accommodation on these dates are the UK, Ireland and The Netherlands.
Where to stay: Take some time to recover and relax at the beautiful Middlewick Holiday Cottages. Just a 15 minute drive from the festival, the cottages have an outdoor pool and boasts views of Glastonbury Tor and The Mendips. You can keep the festival vibes going with their garden and barbecue facilities or soak up the surroundings with some cycling or hiking.
- Barcelona, Spain (Benicàssim 13-16 July 2017)
Set in beautiful Barcelona, the ever-popular Benicàssim music festival is known for its mix of great music, sun and sea. A perfect mash up of a festival and beach holiday. Spain, France and the UK are the top nationalities booking this destination during this time.
Where to stay: Cool off from the sun-drenched parties at the stylish Artlifebcn Apartment. Situated in a residential area of Barcelona, Artlifebcn Apartment offers air-conditioned accommodation with furnished private terraces so you can cool down after the hot party. Mercat de Sants, with fresh local products, can be found within 10 minutes' walk of the property and the Mercat Nou Metro Station and Sants Train Station are nearby so you’re well placed to explore some of Barcelona’s legendary sites.
- Denmark (Roskilde 24 June – 1 July 2017)
Bringing some of the world’s best rock, pop, hip-hop and dance acts to Scandinavia, Roskilde is one of the world’s largest and longest festivals. Those from all over Denmark and visitors from Norway and Sweden are the top nationalities booking this destination at this time.
Where to stay: After the festival, take some time to explore Roskilde with its beautiful cathedrals, Viking Ship Museum and great cuisine. Stay at the picturesque Kattinge Apartment including a fully equipped kitchen, barbeque facilities and free use of bicycles, the perfect way to explore this charming city.
- Serbia, Novi Sad (EXIT 5-9 July 2017)
Serbia's EXIT festival evolved out of student protests in 2000, but is now known for its amazing music, welcoming vibes and late-night partying. The top nationalities booking this destination during this iconic festival are Serbia, Bulgaria and Romania.
Where to stay: After days of late night parting it’s time for a break. The Fortress Apartments are conveniently located near the centre of Novi Sad, the Danube and Petrovaradin Fortress, these fully equipped studios are a great base for exploring the historical city of Novi Sad.
- Budapest (Sziget 9-16 August 2017)
This monster of a music festival, Sziget, spans seven days and the full 266 acres of the River Danube's Obuda Island. Spend your days on the beach and party by night to the thousands of acts - from heavy-metal rockers to boy bands. The top nationalities booking places to stay in Budapest at this time are Italy, UK and The Netherlands.
Where to stay: After seven days of partying you will need a bit of down time. Check in to the Synagogue Apartment Dohány, a lovely air-conditioned apartment located near to St. Stephen's Basilica. It’s the perfect base to explore Budapest and slow down the tempo for the rest of your trip. Various restaurants and café bars can be found nearby as well as a metro station, the perfect base to explore Budapest.
- Brecon Beacons, UK (Green Man 17-20 August 2017)
Certainly a unique festival - with crumpet-toasting burlesque dancers, a truly massive bonfire and music that really moves the crowd. The line-up at Brecon Beacon’s festival is never typecast – experience Americana, folk-braided pop, art-rock, electro, electronica and even old-school garage. The UK, Hong Kong and the US are the top nationalities booking this destination at this time.
Where to stay: Relax your post festival feet at Ty Helyg Guest House. The Brecon Beacons National Park is less than 10 minutes' walk away and you can drive to nearby sites Castell Dinas and Bronllys Castle. After all the festival fun you can refuel with a hearty Welsh breakfast and if you can handle more beer, delicious local brews are available in the onsite honesty bar.
- Croatia, Pula (Outlook 7-10 September 2017)
The 19th-Century Fort Punta Christo and its idyllic surroundings are a beautiful backdrop to the booming bass of Outlook Festival's impressive array of hip-hop, grime, reggae, techno and dub. Choose your place to party from the fortress moat, dungeon, forest, harbour stage, on the beach or on a boat. The UK, Austria and Germany are the top nationalities booking this beautiful destination at this time.
Where to stay: The Apartments Villa Holiday are located 300 meters from the beach and include an outdoor swimming pool – what better way to relax after a festival. Guests can relax in the garden and prepare meals on the barbecue or take a trip to the beach and rent a boat or water scooter. It’s also easy to arrange excursions to nearby islands for fishing and diving – the perfect way to unwind after your days of partying.
- Dorset, UK (Bestival 7-10 September 2017)
This British music festival gets all the best acts and after 12 years it’s still going strong. It’s notorious for its annual fancy dress themes and location of natural beauty and festival heritage. The UK is the top nationality booking at this time.
Where to stay: On the doorstep of Lulworth Cove, with coastal views and scenic Jurassic footpaths, is the beautiful Lulworth Cove Inn featuring a pub and restaurant with stunning sea views. The pub serves award-winning Badger cask ales, lagers from around the world and a menu full of fresh and seasonal dishes.
- Germany, Munich (Oktoberfest 16 September 2017)
Something a little different – and not just about drinking beer, Munich's world-famous Beerfest also claims to be the world’s largest folk festival. Spanning over two weeks, indulge in more German beers that you can imagine, delicious food and enjoy colourful parades and a variety of fairground rides. The top nationalities booking Munich at this time are Germany, Ukraine and China.
Where to stay: After all that indulging it’s time for some much needed rest. You may have had enough of beer but Munich is a great place for museums and culture. The Rocco Forte The Charles Hotel offers views of the Old Botanical Garden, includes an exclusive spa with an indoor pool and an elegant lounge bar where you can listen to live music on weekends.
- Research conducted by Booking.com with 34,000 nationally representative respondents across 17 markets. Respondents had to be 18 years of age or older, had to have travelled at least once in 2015 and be planning at least one trip for 2016. All respondents had to be at least part of the decision-making process when planning most of their trips. Data was collected in October 2015.