Exactly 15,000 young Europeans will get to travel around the continent to #DiscoverEU for free this summer since EU is paying for train and bus tickets. But where to go and what to do?
There are tons of possibilities in Europe, which means that everybody can enjoy something that fits their tastes and interests.
To help you out we have narrowed down the options to 9 perfect summer events.
Each of them is different – but all are ideal for young people’s hearts and minds.
So check below on how you can party on a Portuguese seaside, visit the biggest flea market in France, enjoy art in Hungary or see bodypainting masters in Austria.
Who can apply for free train tickets
The program #DiscoverEU wants to encourage soon-to-be students to seize the chance to experience freedom of movement, better understand Europe’s diversity and enjoy its cultural richness.
There are a couple of rules, however.
Only EU nationals who will be 18 years old on 1 July 2018 can apply. They can travel up to 30 days and can visit up to four foreign destinations. And the trip has to start between 9 July 2018 and 30 September 2018.
Eligible youth can grab their tickets up until June 26 via an online application tool available on the European Youth Portal. The time is running out, hurry up!
Rotterdam Summer Carnival, Netherlands
When: 24 – 28 July
Rotterdam Unlimited is one of the biggest free street festivals in Europe. Its main highlight is a colorful parade with live music and lots of dancing.
Young music buffs can enjoy everything from exuberant live electronics, soca, hip-hop, soul, R&B and drum‘n bass beats.
Besides the stage programs, you can also check the battle of drums, a huge market with food from all over the world and of course the spectacular street parade itself.
Poland Rock Festival, Poland
When: 2 – 4 August
Where: Kostrzyn nad Odra
Woodstock in Poland is considered to be one of the best free festivals in Europe.
Every year many artists from Poland and abroad perform their music live on the two festival stages – the big and the small (folk) one.
Line-up for 2018 includes Goo Goo Dolls, Dubioza Kolektiv, Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes.
Valley of Arts, Hungary
When: 20 – 29 July
Where: Kapolcs, Vigántpetend and Taliándörögd
Price: 4.000 Ft – 35.000 Ft (12 EUR – 108 EUR)
Hungary’s biggest and oldest art festival, the “Valley of Arts”, will take place in July in three villages of Lake Balaton Uplands: Kapolcs, Vigántpetend, and Taliándörögd.
Over the past decades, the festival became a brand of tradition, innovation, and quality.
The organizers say that everyone is in for a treat and bound to find their own interests, from pop, jazz or classical music, theatre, Cirque nouveau or folk.
There are 27 large and 40 smaller venues and yards with hundreds of artists and performances.
MEO Sudoeste, Portugal
When: 7 – 11 August
Prices: from 48 EUR to 120 EUR
The Sudoeste is the biggest summer festival in Portugal. It takes place in August in Zambujeira do Mar, a fishing town on the Alentejo coast famous for its beautiful beaches and mild temperatures.
They say this is one of the “purer” festivals in terms of minimal commercialism and maximum fun.
Headliners for this year include Shawn Mendez, Dutch DJ Hardwell as well as Brazilian reggaeton singer J. Balvin, Portuguese hip-hop artist DeeJay Telio and Marshmello.
La Tomatina, Spain
When: 29 August
Where: Bunol, Valencia
Price: 40 EUR (with transport from/to Valencia)
Every last Wednesday of August, La Tomatina Festival takes place in Valencia where streets of this small town become a battleground for world-famous tomato fights. Last year, more than 20,000 people attended.
Usually, the event lasts for an hour, after which the town square is literally covered with tomato debris. Fire trucks then hose down the streets and participants often use hoses that locals provide to remove the tomatoes from their bodies.
If you decide to visit, make sure that you don’t wear clothes you like!
Flow Festival, Finland
When: 10 – 12 August
Price: from 99 EUR to 215 EUR
Flow Festival takes places in an old power plant in Helsinki, featuring a unique urban setting. There are more than 150 Finish and international artists attending the event every year.
This time around the big acts includes Kendrick Lamar, Arctic Monkey, Patti Smith, Fever Ray and Lykke Li while festival-goers can also enjoy numerous more intimate club masters from around the world.
Flow is also considered as one of the more eco-friendly festivals out there. Most of their energy, for instance, comes from a renewable source while all of the waste from 2017’s festival has been reused.
Braderie de Lille flea market, France
When: 1 – 2 September
The Lille flea market is the largest flea market in Europe and one of the most famous events in France.
At the beginning of September, the city in Northern France becomes capital of bargain-hunting while offering a unique opportunity to discover this colorful Flemish city.
“The Braderie” (French for “sell at a low price”) dates back to medieval times and is probably one of the best places in the world to find rare vintage items and different original pieces. This year, organizers expect more than 10,000 exhibitors.
Needless to say, there will be a lot of food as well – especially for those who enjoy the traditional “moules frites” (mussels with French fries).
World BodyPainting Festival, Austria
When: 12 – 14 July
Price: 21 EUR – 49 EUR
The festival, considered as an important initiator of the modern bodypainting art movement, will see artists from more than 50 countries and over 30,000 spectators in beautiful Klagenfurt this July.
The main event of the festival is the World Bodypainting Championship where the best of body paint artists create and present stunning artworks in different categories.
Spectators and visitors alike are able to step “into the surreal” filled with a unique world of art that excites the senses and the imagination, the organizers say.
When: 10 – 14 July
The event is dedicated to wine tastings, art exhibitions, live concerts, workshops, panels and a “traditional monster manifestation” when people dress up as zombies and vampires.
Grosmann festival is focused on fantasy and horror movies that “go beyond political correctness and desperate desire for mass appeal” – as organizers point out.
It takes place every year in mid-July in the town of Ljutomer in the winegrowing Prlekija region. Organizers also invite special guests. A couple of years ago, for instance, legendary Christopher Lee attended the festival as well.
Last modified: June 20, 2018