UK eGuide Kindle
Car hire

Ten Best Festivals Around the World

Admittedly, there is no better way to get to know a people or culture than to participate in their local or national festivals. Some festivals simply reveal the universal human capacity for joy and celebration, and have grown outside of their own nationality or culture. Many grow in popularity each year, and while some are very well-known, others are just beginning to “catch on”. Each of the following festivals is the best of its kind in the world, and attended by visitors from almost every country each year.

Those interested in experiencing the “real deal” in beer celebrations should head to Munich, Germany in late September to enjoy Oktoberfest. The annual celebration lasts about two weeks, ending in October, and is full of beer, food, fun and friendship. There are also parades, music and entertainment, but the real focus of the festival is the beer!

If entertainment is of major interest there are several well-known festivals that provide endless amounts of opportunity to experience the best of the film, music and street entertainment available in the world. Fans of techno music and “Rave” culture can participate in Berlin 's famous “Love Parade” festival, which converts the city into a giant dance club each August.

Of course, those who prefer jazz music should make their way to the International Jazz Festival held in Montreal , Canada each July. Alternately, music enthusiasts could make a trip to Austin , Texas to experience South by Southwest, which spotlights independent musicians each March.

Those looking for theater, opera, stage or street entertainment should hit two of the world's most well-known alternative festivals, the Fringe Festival held in Edinburgh , Scotland each August and the Burning Man festival, which takes place near Las Vegas , Nevada every August. Both festivals provide unique and alternative experiences and are becoming increasingly popular and well-attended.

The mother of all entertainment festivals however takes place each year in Cannes , France – the International Film Festival introduces many of the year's newest and biggest films as well as many smaller and beautifully made theatrical releases.

What are festivals without a parade? There are three festivals known for their street events and enormous parades. The famous Carnivale of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil is the most lavish of them all, but Mardi Gras in New Orleans , Louisiana gives Carnivale a run for its money. If running is of interest, there is little to compare with the Festival of San Fermin in Pamplona , Spain and its famous “running of the bulls”.


back to top