For travelers wanting to avoid FOMO on their next Euro trip, we know it can feel overwhelming trying to choose from the continent’s many places to visit. That’s why we’re here to take a little holiday planning stress off your shoulders. We’ve handpicked the most unique and fulfilling things to see and do in Europe all year round. So get ready for a trip filled with adventure and awe by experiencing one or more of the following 10 European attractions:
- Exit Festival – Novi Sad, Serbia
- The Running of the Bulls – Pamplona, Spain
- Camino de Santiago, aka The Way of St. James – Portugal, France, and Spain
- Prater Vienna – Austria
- Oktoberfest – Munich, Germany
- Carnival “Tschäggätta,” aka Valley of Monsters – Lötschental, Switzerland
- Hot Air Balloons – Cappadocia, Turkey
- Budapest Night Spa – Budapest, Hungary
- The Netherlands
- Aurora Borealis, aka the northern lights
Quintessential things to do in Europe
In case you’re wondering, ‘Why even make this list?’ …Well, as travelers, we can sometimes get overwhelmed when trying to choose our next destination. This can make us feel unmotivated or stressed out due to decision-fatigue. So that’s why this list is here to help you stay inspired and anxiety-free for your next Europe trip!
These 10 events and experiences across 16 European countries were chosen based on their popularity. We’ve compiled a wide variety of options in order to help you choose what would be best for you. Or you could also just indulge in them all, from music concerts to pilgrimages, and scenic views to traditional customs!
The events are listed in a somewhat geographical order, starting from the south, to the north and to warmer climates to round it out. This way, this article can be loosely used as your next European trip itinerary.
The Hot Air Balloons of Cappadocia 2023: Cappadocia, Turkey
Where: Goreme, Turkey
When: April to October
We have to start this article with one of the most “Instagrammable” destinations in Europe. With its pointy beige rock formations clustered in the Monks Valley, Cappadocia has much more to offer than just looking pretty in pictures.
Its remarkable sites include caves carved into its valley walls, which date back to the Bronze Age. Early Christian monks used these caves as shelters a couple thousand years ago. That is why the 100 meter deep Ihlara Canyon now has numerous rock-face churches.
And above the valley, Cappadocia’s sky is often filled with hundreds of hot air balloons, an activity now synonymous with this region of Turkey. It is a profound experience to find yourself in this valley looking up at its giant stone domes and balloon-filled horizon. It’s truly a must-see!
Exit Festival – Novi Sad, Serbia
Where: Petrovaradin Fortress, Novi Sad, Serbia
Dates: July 6th to 9th
Serbia’s Exit Festival is one of the most renowned in Europe. You can join the wildest parties and dance until you drop in this mixed genres music festival.
For accommodation, you can stay in the beautiful city of Novi Sad, or you can camp near the festival. You can also volunteer and receive free tickets. Regardless of your logistical planning, you will for sure enjoy four days of pure fun listening to your favorite artists, as well as new ones. They are all a part of a roster that boasts more than 40 stages. So whether you like electronic music, metal, pop, rock or fusion, be sure to visit this festival at least once in your life.
More Music Festivals in the Balkans for 2023
Don’t just stop at Exit. Allow yourself the pleasure (and the hangovers) of visiting other festivals in this part of Europe. Check out the following:
- Serbia has Guča trumpet festival, Jazz fest, Beer fest and more
- Croatia hosts the popular INMusic
- Hungary is home to Ozora festival
- In Montenegro, you can attend the Exit Festival’s little sister Sea Dance
- Bosnia has the great Jazz festival, the OK fest, and more
It is quite an experience to visit music festivals, especially in the Balkans or Central Europe. The music is diverse, the prices are affordable and the people are friendly.
Disclaimer: There is a possibility that you will fall in love with this region like many unsuspecting travelers have done. In that case, you might find it helpful to learn about the top 5 best cities to live in the Balkans.
Thermal Baths: Budapest, Hungary
Where: Szechenyi bath, Budapest, Hungary
After partying in Serbia, you will definitely need some rest. And just 300 km away from Belgrade is Budapest, the capital of Hungary and a great relaxation point. It’s a student city full of mesmerizing architecture, and its young inhabitants love it for its vibrant culture, nightlife and open-mindedness.
It also holds the unique treasure of the Szechenyi thermal baths, spas and pools.
Prater Theme Park: Vienna, Austria
Where: Prater, Vienna, Austria
When: All year round
North of Budapest lies Vienna, Austria’s capital city nested on the Danube river. It has a lot to offer, including art galleries, museums, concerts, markets and more. It’s truly an all-around good time.
And if you’re looking for some adrenaline, Prater Wien theme park is the place for you. It has long been a favorite amongst the locals–kids and adults alike. You can spend a day with your loved ones or meet friends at one of Prater’s many rides, museums or game rooms.
As an added bonus, if you visit Vienna during Christmas time, you’ll be able to stop at the Vienna Christmas market, as it is one of the most beautiful in Europe.
Oktoberfest 2023: Munich, Germany
Dates: September 16th to October 3rd
While you’re in Austria, why not visit Germany too! It would be a shame to be there and not to experience Oktoberfest. The official festival is held in Munich every year, but you can experience it at other locations too, including Berlin, London, Copenhagen, Barcelona and more.
Oktoberfest is a must for outgoing people because it can be a perfect opportunity to make new friends or simply get rowdy in some lederhosen.
The Netherlands: Amsterdam, Utrecht and Maastricht
When: September to November, or June to July
Whether you love art museums, architecture, nature, or just being in true urban surroundings, the Netherlands as a whole is an experience of its own!
It is easy to get around the country using trains. Taking the time to explore this green country’s many cities and towns on the water and timeless old towns is an opportunity not to be missed!
Aurora Borealis, The Northern Lights
When: Late September to early March
Where: Iceland, Sweden, Finland
An experience to treasure for the rest of your life is seeing the northern lights! You can catch this rare light show in Iceland, the northern parts of Sweden, Norway and Finland. You can also explore throughout the Scandinavian region and try out multiple locations to come to a conclusion about where the best place to see th aurora lights is.
Carnival “Tschäggätta,” Valley of Monsters, Switzerland
Where: Lötschental, Switzerland
Dates:February 3rd to 21st
Another great experience that feels out of this world is Switzerland’s Valley of Monsters winter festival. It’s very niche, but it is well worth it. The whole country dresses up and looks like they stepped out of the pages of a fairytale. And what better way to spend a winter than in the famous Swiss Alps.
Once you get yourself to the “monster valley,” you will see for yourself how much this unique festival overtakes the country, and we’re sure you’ll get swept up in the kooky spirit of it too!
Camino de Santiago
Where: France, Spain and Portugal
When: Anytime, except avoid summer months
Ready to escape the snowy Swiss mountains? It’s time to head to warmer regions, starting with Spain, France and Portugal.
Why these three together? What you might not know is that these three countries have an invisible thread connecting one to the other. That thread is the Camino de Santiago, also known as the Way of St. James, or the pilgrimage roots of Santiago de Compostela.
To experience El Camino, simply pick a track you like the most and surrender to the road! Even though the tracks are there all year round, it is best to avoid the warm months of July and August, as well as the winter. You can choose your path based on the level of difficulty, duration and countries to cross.
By the way, If you wish to live in Spain as a remote worker, it is possible now with the digital nomad visa!
The Running of the Bulls
Dates: July 7th to 14th
Where: Pamplona, Spain
While in Spain, why not experience a once in a lifetime rush by partaking in the infamous Running of the Bulls festival? It’s held in the charming city of Pamplona. If you visit in the beginning of July, you can experience this festival. Since this is very dangerous, you should be cautious and observe from a safe distance, unless you want to actually take the challenge of running with the bulls.
How to travel through Europe?
It’s super easy! Everywhere in Europe is pretty well-connected via trains, buses, ferries and planes. You can always find affordable tickets using budget airlines or ground transportation. Another helpful fact is that the locals are really hospitable and speak great English in most of the countries mentioned. If you are worried about financing your journey, why not get a remote job?
Get a remote job and travel around Europe!
We always have remote jobs available, mainly for IT roles like help desk technicians. But we often hire for service desk coordinators and sometimes admin assistance, both of which don’t require technical knowledge. Our competitive salaries and fully-remote positions will allow you to travel as much as you like. Feel free to check our job offers here!