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Adult, African, American

8 must-visit festivals around the world

From music and food festivals to celebrating love and inclusivity, here's our top 8 must-visit festivals. Plus, we've got the deals to get you there!

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Karneval der Kulturen

When: 26 – 29 May 2023

Where: Berlin, Germany

Why: Everyone knows (and loves) Munich's Oktoberfest. And what's not to love about drinking to excess and dressing up? Unforunately, because the festival is so popular, hotels book up really quickly and are super pricey. Well, we've got an even better festival for you to put on your radar: Carnival of Cultures. This multicultural festival takes place every May in Germany's eclectic capital. The festival began as a way to celebrate people of all cultures, religions and lifestyles - and it continues to do just that! It's essentially a giant street party that culminates in a mash-up of cultures. DJs and musicians set up in the middle of the streets of Berlin's popular Kreuzberg district and people dance all day. Food and drink stalls break up the DJ sets, and there's even a fun parade.

Where to stay and how to save: While all the action is in Kreuzberg, any neighbourhood located in the city centre (Mitte, Prenzlauer Berg or Moabit) or in the east (Friedrichshain, Neukölln or Tempelhof) are great options. Luckily, Berlin has a fantastic subway system that’s also super affordable.

Rolling Loud

When: 5 – 7 July

Where: Portimão, The Algarve, Portugal

Why: We've priced Barcelona's Primavera Sound and attending the music festival is not that cheap when you start counting ticket prices, hotel, flights and food. If you're set on a music festival in Southern Europe, we can suggest Rolling Loud, which takes place in Portimão on the Algarve Coast in the beginning of July. Tickets cost around £216 for three-day access, and you can generally find cheaper accommodation in comparison to Barcelona. A 3-day holiday won't be cheap, but it will certainly cost you less than some other European music festivals.

Where to stay and how to save: Since the festival is located in Portimão, the obvious choice would be to stay there. However, if the hotels are completely booked out, or it’s a little too expensive, then you can also look for hotels in Alvor, Carvoeiro, Lagoa, Lagos and Albufeira.


When: 16 – 25 June, 2023

Where: Napoli Pizza Village, Naples

Why: Anyone who knows anything about pizza knows that Naples is where pizza was invented. It's no wonder that the city would have a festival devoted to arguably the most important Italian dish. Pizzafest is the world's largest festival celebrating pizza.

Where to stay and how to save: If you can't find affordable accommodation during the festival, we recommend setting your sights further afield and stay somewhere on the Sorrento coast. You'll be a hop skip and a jump away from Naples by train - which is super affordable in Italy - where you can stop for a day to enjoy the festival.

Mad Cool Festival

When: 6 - 8 July 2023

Where: Madrid, Spain

Why: While the Mad Cool music festival isn't free, it is one of the cheapest summer festival options on this list. A three-day pass starts around £170 per person. And you'd be surprised to hear that some of the headliners are pretty famous acts. Lizzo, Robbie Williams, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Sam Smith are just some of the big names that are headlining.

Where to stay and how to save: Luckily, Madrid is quite affordable for a European capital city. You can stay at a nice Madrid hotel for less than a hostel in London, or have a great dinner out for less than take out in New York. You can find a wide selection of accommodation types and except for a few public holidays, you can almost always find a comfortable place for two for well under £80 a night, usually with breakfast included.

Amsterdam Light Festival

When: 30 November 2023 – 21 January 2024

Where: Amsterdam, Netherlands

Why: Amsterdam is always a fun city break, but if you've already been there once or twice, we'd recommend coming back in the winter to see the Light Festival. At night, the city comes alive with hundreds of fun, artistic light installations spread across the city. From giant illuminated tulips and colourful bridges to smaller interactive light installations, the city becomes a festive playground after dark, perfect for families and couples alike.

Where to stay and how to save: Amsterdam may seem an odd choice for a winter destination, but prices are typically cheaper in the winter months. January is statistically when you can find some of the lowest hotel rates. Staying just outside the city centre is an easy way to save a few quid.

Vegetarian Festival

When: 24 September – 3 October

Where: Phuket, Thailand

Why: Certainly not for the faint of heart, the Vegetarian Festival takes place each autumn in Phuket, Thailand. Despite its name, the festival is quite gruesome. While it is tradition to abstain from eating meat for the week, it goes a bit further. The locals take part in painful rituals such as piercing their cheeks with various objects, running over beds of burning coals, climbing an eight-metre ladder made of sharp blades and crossing a bridge of nails while in a trance. Whether it makes your must-see list or not, we can all agree that It's certainly a culturally unique festival that won't be like any other you've ever visited!

Where to stay and how to save: While the long-haul flight might up the price on a holiday to Phuket, once you're there things will be very affordable. We suggest booking early to get the best deal possible. Any resort or hotel in the Phuket area is a great option, as there are festivities happening throughout the city.


When: 7 -17 September 2023

Where: Valletta, Malta

Why: EuroPride is set to take place in Malta's capital city, Valletta, this year. Malta has ranked 1st on the ILGA-Europe Rainbow Index (which reflects the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people in Europe) as the most LGBTIQ+ friendly destination since 2016. Get ready for live music, club nights and a parade with colourful floats, street performers and thousands of participants marching to celebrate love, life and diversity.

Where to stay and how to save: Malta is a great budget destination and since it's warm year-round, September is pretty ideal. You'll be able to find affordable accommodation in Valletta, St. Julians, Sliema and Mellieħa. We recommend booking a hotel with a rooftop pool because, why not?

Danube Island Festival

When: 23 - 25 June 2023

Where: Vienna, Austria

Why: The Danube Island Festival is the world’s largest free open-air music festival. The three-day festival takes place on the man-made island, which is located in the middle of the Danube river (hence the name). The festival boasts music of varying genres, including rock, folk, hip-hop and metal. Did we mention it's completely free? That's probably our favourite part!

Where to stay and how to save: Vienna isn't the cheapest destination, but you'll end up saving a lot on entertainment as the festival is free. Reserve your holiday as early as possible for the best prices. You can easily reach the festival via the tube.

Check out these hot deals for festivals with TUI:

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