Europe’s Best Fringe festivals today combine an offbeat vibe with some of the best arts and entertainment shows.
Most fringe festivals originated as alternative events to major, often exclusive, arts festivals in cities across the globe, offering a chance for anyone to perform or put on a show.
Over the last fifty years, festivals such as the renowned Edinburgh Fringe have become common, but nowhere more so than in Europe.
Europe’s Best Fringe Festivals
With many to choose from, here is just a selection of what’s on offer throughout the continent.
The biggest and best-known fringe remains Edinburgh’s – in a city that’s home to as many as 20 different festivals every year.
In August, Scotland’s capital becomes a mêlée of arts performers and crew members of all kinds, not to mention the crowds that flood the city to watch the shows.
The streets themselves become arenas, flyers are handed out in their millions and the atmosphere is electric from morning until night for a whole month of celebration.
Wading through the throngs on the Royal Mile while stilt-walkers and buskers compete for attention from every corner remains an essential part of the experience.
In much the same spirit, Dublin launched its own September fringe festival back in the early 90s, the biggest of its kind in Ireland.
Self-styled as a ‘platform’ for the best of contemporary dance, theater and music currently touring the world, Dublin’s Absolut Fringe is also about exposing burgeoning local talent.
With everything from experimental theatre to Irish folk music with a contemporary twist, this autumn festival is hot on the heels of Edinburgh in every sense.
Across the channel, Amsterdam has its own fringe which lasts 10 days from the end of August to the beginning of September.
It’s already gaining a reputation for edgy, offbeat content and is worth going for the high-energy opening party or any of the Fringe FUEL master classes for performers if you’re a budding participant.
Helpfully, around half of the program is either performed in English or can be understood whatever your language.
In the somewhat warmer climes of the Mediterranean, Athens Fringe Live is Greece’s answer to the grassroots festival.
Using artistic exchange and celebration as a force for positive change, Fringe Live emphasizes this philosophy of interaction rather than the comedy stand-up that Edinburgh now leans towards.
So alongside the program of physical theater and exhibitions, social and volunteer events also form the core of what this festival is about.
In Hungary’s cultural center Budapest, the fringe spirit has created a sideline to the more traditional Budapest Spring festival.
Taking place in April, Budapest Fringe crams a wealth of underground talent and upcoming performers into the last three days of the ‘core’ festival.
The fringe festival is centered on Pest Broadway in the inner part of the city east of the River Danube.
Though mostly a showcase for the local arts scene, the fringe here encompasses everything from Hungarian belly dancing to imports such as Irish dance and Afro-inspired music.
With some of Europe’s best fringe festivals timed so that they follow on from each other, it might be worth seeing a few in a row.
See Edinburgh, Amsterdam and Dublin over the course of a few weeks in the late summer and you could do most of the journey by road and ferry, but don`t set off without a route planner if you’re taking the car.
Central and southern Europe is home to many more festivals in places such as Prague and Naples so if you’re going on a road trip don’t forget to get European breakdown.
Stag Weekend Destinations In Europe
Stag Weekend Destinations In Europe Throwing a bachelor party for your friend’s last days of “freedom” is a long tradition dating back to the 5th century B.C, but the ways to celebrate it has changed slightly over the centuries.
Today, it has become ever more popular to have a stag weekend abroad, and in Europe there are plenty of destinations to choose from.
Best destinations to go for a stag weekend
Riga – For The Experienced
Riga Capital City of Latvia With its sensational selection of stag activities to be pick from, and its pretty girls, it isn’t hard to see why so many choose Riga for their stag weekend.
With many years of “stag party experience”, Riga has begun to attract legendary status for its nightlife and stag parties from all over Europe flock to this Mecca of stag activity.
All the best bars are fairly close to one another, so that you can spend more time at the clubs than going between them all, and the locals are known to party until dawn.
But it’s not just for the nightlife that stag groups choose Riga for their stag weekend.
If you’re looking for some adrenaline activities like white water rafting or mud churning time on quad bikes, Riga has it all.
Brno – For The Budget Newbie
Prague is a favorite among many groups for their stag weekend, but it’s starting to feel a bit “done”, and with its raising prices it might be time to look for something similar but different, which brings us to Brno.
As Czech Republic’s second largest city, Brno is kind of the “off-the-beaten-path” destination for stag weekends.
It’s cheaper than Prague, and still offers a huge variety of things to do for the epic stag weekend.
Besides, being a student city you can count on some great nightlife.
Except for exploring the beautiful city center, you can get your hands on some go karting, machine gun-shooting, off-road four wheeling and other classics.
Ibiza – For The Beach Party
Looking to party all night and day in a place where partying simply never ends?
Ibiza is the perfect place for a sun kissed stag weekend, with beautiful beaches, bikinis and an on-going party vibe with some of the world’s best DJ’s.
Ibiza is actually one of the most popular destinations for hen parties, so don’t be surprised if you end up celebrating with a group on their hen weekend!
Apart from partying 24/7, you can do some of the classic things like go karting, paragliding, cruising and paintball.
Amsterdam – For The Classic
Amsterdam is the classic choice for the party group: there are plenty of bars and clubs, some seriously crazy nightlife experiences, a red light tour and a fun city to explore during the day.
The reason why Amsterdam is one of the best choices is that you’re pretty much guaranteed some weird experiences, and remember:
What happens in Amsterdam, stays in Amsterdam…
If “Hangover” did another movie, I would love to see them ending up in this city!
For more information on hen & stag weekend destinations around Europe, visit Maximise for a great variety of options and deals.
Top Stag Party Destinations In Europe
With its serene setting, delicious cuisine and friendly people, Europe is the perfect vacation destination.
From beaches to palaces, Europe offers a ton of opportunities for stag parties of all kind – here stag party organizers Stag.com offer a low-down on a few of the top stag party destinations in Europe:
Stag Party Amsterdam
Amsterdam is THE party-capital of the world.
Apart from the Red Light District, there is much more to look around too!
The shops inside the Red Light area offer some exquisite gifts for the fairer sex.
The people are very friendly and if you spend a night here, you will definitely end up with a lot of friends and a lifetime of memories.
This is just the perfect stag party destination!
Stag Party Ibiza
Ibiza is home to some of the best DJ’s in the world. The party (literally) never ends here.
It is the perfect spot for one to let their hair down and have an amazing time.
Many clubs are open day and night, meaning that you can go partying straight after breakfast at 9 am, and chances are there will be a world famous House DJ continuing the party on the beach at noon.
Stag Party Dublin
Dublin is home to the Temple Bar and the world-famous Guinness factory.
This is a must-go destination for beer lovers.
Because of its scenic beauty and a thriving night-life, Dublin is one of the few cities which provide calmness while partying.
Dublin is also famous for its many adventure trails spread over vast expanses.
Bars, bazaars and beauties daunt the streets of Istanbul.
There are so many pubs and bars located in the city that you would need a proper guide to visit only the most happening places.
With its ancient setting of monuments preserved over ages, the city adds another interesting flavor to the Eastern Europe state.
The capital of Slovakia offers booze at one of the cheapest prices in the continent and the clubs are always full of people dancing and partying the night away.
Mixing partying with adventure sports, the city is a must-go destination for every party animal and adrenaline junkie!
And lastly, did we mention that Slovakian women are among the hottest in the world?
One of the oldest areas of the world is definitely one of the sauciest too!
From Soho Road to Trafalgar Square, the Brits know how to get it right.
A Bar Crawl should always be on the cards when in London.
We could name one or two of the best clubs in the city, but then it would not be fair to the dozen-odd super talented DJ’s who play day and night!
From strip shows and lap dances to the smooth accent of suave British men, the place has something in store for both the sexes!
Europe’s Best Fringe Festivals photo credit: 1