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Discover: Europe

A budget guide to backpacking around europe

Top 5 Hostels

The best budget hostels around Europe

Budapest

What is it like to live and work in Budapest for the summer?

Beginners guide to Interrailing

The beginners guide to travelling Europe on the train

Essential Festival Guide Round up of the top festivals going on around Europe this summer

City guides to: Berlin + Prague + Belgrade + Sarajevo and much more inside


Visit Croatia. www.VisitCroatia.com


MAY 2010

Destinations

Features

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Interailing

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Prague

Beginners guide to interailing, with the best tips, tricks and ideas

A guide to picturesque capital of the Czech Republic and a look into it’s culture, history and nightlife

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Top 5 Hostels

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Berlin

A look at some of the best hostels from across europe

A guide to the buzzing capital of Germany, full of culture, history and also party central

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Budapest

A feature on an Australian girl who is living and working in the Hungarian capital

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Belgrade

A guide to the intriguingly different Serbian capital

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Festival Check

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Sarajevo

The essential guide to the best festivals that are happening outside of the UK

A guide to the largely unknown but beautiful capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Editors letter It’s getting to that time of year again...

Bennicassim Page 14

The summer is well within sight and the planning for gap years, summer trips and holidays should all be well underway by now. If you still have not decided what to do or where to visit then we have city guides on some fantastic places such as Berlin. Or if you fancy something different why not visit Sarajevo? Find out why on page 11. In this issue we feature an Australian working and living in Budapest, something that you fancy? Then skip on over to page 12 and 13 and read what she has to say about it. If festivals are more your thing then we have an essential festival check with some of the biggest and best festivals around Europe. Whatever you have planned for this summer, travel safe and have fun.

J. Hicks

InterRailing Page 4

James Hicks, Editor May 2010 Discover: Europe

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Feature:

Interrailing

Beginners guide A beguiner’s guide to travelling around Europe on train passes What is it? In simple terms, InterRailing is a train ticket that allows free train travel around the majority of Europe. There are a number of different ticket types that can be purchased; these vary from an allotted 5 days of rail travel in a 10 day period, right up to a 30 day continuous unlimited ticket. Or alternatively, if there is just one country that takes your fancy you can get a country specific ticket. The map opposite indicates all of the main train lines that can be used in conjunction with the global ticket.

Why do it? Have you ever just wanted to wake up one morning and just decide on the spot, hey, let’s go to Rome? Well if you have then InterRailing may well be right up your street. With a global pass there are no restrictions on where you can travel and therefore no plans are needed, you can just decide day to day where you will travel next, and that is the beauty of it. One day you could be in Paris and then the next you could be on your way to Berlin or Belgrade. If you are thinking of doing some travelling around Europe this summer, then it is well worth looking into.

Where can you go? As mentioned before, if you purchase a global ticket you are able to travel all over the majority of the European countries. Whereas, the country or region specific tickets allow travel only in that alotted area. The various different tickets and also the prices are displayed opposite. 4

Discover: Europe May 2010


Feature:

Interrailing

to Interrailing Ticket types and cost The Global pass: 1 month continuous travel Under 25, second class €399 (£345) Over 25, second class €599 (£520) 22 days continuous travel Under 25, second class €309 (£270) Over 25, second class €469 (£405) 15 days continuous travel Under 25, second class Over 25, second class

€279 (£240) €399 (£345)

The two ticket types below allow a certain amount of travelling days over an extended period. So for example, 10 days within 22 days means that you are allowed to travel for 10 days over the period of 22 days. 10 days within 22 days travel Under 25, second class €239 (£210) Over 25, second class €359 (£310) 5 days within 10 days travel Under 25, second class €159 (£140) Over 25, second class €249 (£215) For more information on prices, including country and region specific, as well as first class and senior prices then visit: www.interrailnet.com

Top tips Top Tip: Surcharges? What surcharges? Most guidebooks tell you that you need to pay for a reservation surcharge on top of your InterRail ticket, and in some cases this can be up to ten or even twenty Euros per train. Although some claim to be compulsory, it is very unlikely you will ever need to. Night train’s can be a cost effective idea as it saves money on accommodation, but keep your wits about you, especially if you are travelling alone. If you are backpacking, take only what you need, leave out all cosmetics except the absolute vitals. Lastly, it can be a good idea to bring a tent, as you never know when you might need it, especially if there are two of you. May 2010 Discover: Europe

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Feature:

Top 5 Hostels

Top 5 Hostels

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Our veteran Hostel stayer, James Hicks, provides a run down of his five favourite hostels around Europe.

Prague Square Hostel Czech Republic, Prague Location: Melantrichova 10, Old Town, 11000, Prague This hostel has an absolutely perfect location in the centre of Prague, within a two minute stroll of Old Town Square (picture 1) and Wenceslas Square and only five minutes from Charles Bridge. There is an underground bar in the courtyard of the hostel and next door there is a restaurant. Although, due to its superb location, there are loads of restaurants and bars to choose from.

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Facilities and rooms: There are a number of different room sizes and options, from private 2 beds up to 8 bed mixed dormitories. The rooms are simply furnished but for a hostel, there are an abundance of facilities. Free breakfast, bed linen, towels, lockers, internet access and WiFi are all included. There is also a competent Kitchen area and relaxing lounge room, albeit a little small. All in all, the facilities are fantastic. Typical price for July / August: Budget choice: 8 bed mixed dorms start at £13.50 per night For a detailed list of prices and availability, visit Hostelworld.com

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Mittes Backpacker Hostel Germany, Berlin Location: Chausseestrasse 102, Mitte, 10115, Berlin Do not be put off by this hostel from how it looks from the outside (picture 2), because inside this place is absolutely buzzing with energy. Given away by its name, which actually translates as ‘middle’, this hostel is located in central borough of Mitte. It is closely located to the U-Bahn stop of Naturkundemuseum, which is only 100 metres away. It is also only a brisk 15 minute wander to find the central attractions of Berlin, such as the Brandenburg Gates and the Reichstag. Facilities and rooms: The hostel is one of the largest I have stayed in, and includes huge 32 bed dormitories which are to be avoided if you enjoy sleeping but are a great place to meet people and party. The hostel’s reception area is the main hub, as it doubles up as a large bar area and also backs onto the well equipped kitchen, free WiFi is included. Typical price for July / August: Budget choice: 9 bed mixed dorms start at £15.50 per night

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Feature: 4

Top 5 Hostels

The Ginger Monkey Slovakia, Zdiar Location: 294 Zdiar, High Tatras This unique hostel is situated in the High Tatras mountain range in the village of Zdiar, Slovakia. This truly is a hostel you will never forget, as it looks out over the alpine mountain range from the hostel window (picture 4). Facilities and rooms: This is one of the smallest hostels around and only has two types of room’s available, private double bed (£14.50 per night) or 4 bed mixed dorms. The building is simply a fairly large house that has been converted into a hostel, and therefore has a very intimate feel to it. There is a small living room and shared kitchen that provides free breakfast, as well as tea and coffee.

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During the winter, there are snow sports within walking distance but it is the summer where the majority of the activities occur. If you are a keen rambler, or even just enjoy an occasional walk then I can not recommend enough going on a hike up to ‘the saddle’ in the High Tatras. It is quite a steep incline and requires most of the day but the views are phenomenal and you will not regret it. Other activities also include rock climbing and also cycling, if being on two wheels is your thing, then there is a hire shop just down the road. If you are a fit cyclist, or just fancy a challenge, then the cycle to the Polish border and back is simply mind-blowing in its beauty. Be warned tough, it is extremely tiring work, particularly on the way back. Typical price for July / August: Budget choice: 4 bed mixed dorms start at £12.00 per night

Bottom left: Old Town Square in Prague. Clockwise from top left: Mittes Backpacker hostel in Berlin; The fantastic view from the Ginger Monkey hostel in Zdiar; A bustling street in Sarajevo near the hostel; The river Danube from the sun terrace of The Island Hostel in Budapest

The Island Hostel Hungary, Budapest

Hostel City Center Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina Location: Saliha Hadzihuseinovica MUVEKITA 2/3, 71000, Sarajevo Located right in the heart of the city (picture 3), this hostel is within easy walking distance of the main attractions. Or, if you are feeling particularly lazy, the efficient trams can help you get around. Facilities and rooms: The inside of this hostel is more akin to a hotel, it really is impressively furnished. Rooms range from a 2 bed apartment with an en-suite (typically £23 per night) to 10 bed mixed dorms. The facilities here are outstanding; there is a stylishly designed lounge area, complete with a huge selection of DVD’s and also a number of other common rooms to use. The bathrooms are tidier then most hotels and the kitchen is also the best I have ever come across in a hostel. Typical price for July / August: Budget choice: 10 bed mixed dorms start at £15.00 per night

Location: Sirály Csónakház, Margitsziget, 1138, Budapest The Island Hostel is located in between the Buda and Pest sides of the city on Margaret Island. Due to its unique location, it makes getting to both sides of the city relatively simple. Facilities and rooms: Resembling more of a beach shack, this hostel boasts a fantastic sun terrace that faces out onto the river Danube (picture 5) and is a great place to relax and enjoy the sun. The facilities are not the best and there is only the option of 12 bed mixed dorms, but the location and sun terrace go a long way to making up for it. Typical price for July / August: Budget choice: 12 bed mixed dorms start at £10.00 per night How to find hostels The best place to find hostels, including the ones displayed here, is from the website www..hostelworld.com. They have thousands of hostels from all over Europe at extremely reasonable prices. May 2010 Discover: Europe

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Explore:

Prague

Picturesque Prague Prague is the capital of the Czech republic and is vibrant and immensely beautiful city About Prague Although Prague is a relatively small city in comparison to other capital’s, it is packed full of history, culture and interesting sights. Around five or more years ago it began to attract the, partially, unwanted reputation of a cheap destination for lad holidays. Luckily, it has managed to shake that tag over recent years, as it has so much more to offer then cheap beer, strip clubs and night life. That is not to say that the nightlife has deserted the city though, far from it.

Sightseeing Old Town Square Even if culture and historical buildings is not your cup of tea, it is an absolute must see to take a trip to Old Town Square (pictured top right). Often cited as one of, if not the, most beautiful squares in Europe. The square is always buzzing with life, as crowds gather round the famous astronomical clock when it approaches the turning of the hour to see it in action. Various pub crawl reps are usually milling around to sign you up to one of the usually ‘hazy’ nights out that they offer, so even if you only pop down to the square to sign up at least you will have seen some culture. Wenceslas Square Wenceslas Square is one of the main city squares and by day it is a hub for restaurants and the retail giants that occupy it, where you can find many of big stores that you expect in the local city centre. By night, however, it changes almost instantly. The change is so sudden it is startling as you begin to see the public relations of the lapdance and strip clubs flood the street in a desperate attempt to get you to go inside. A place to avoid at night unless on a stag party but probably worth a visit during the day time. Charles Bridge and Prague Castle These two historical sites complete the four main tourist attractions on the sightseeing 8

Discover: Europe May 2010

Clockwise from top left: Map of Europe showing the Czech Republic’s location; One of the most popular places in Prague, Old Town Square; A view from the river bank overlooking the famous Charles Bridge.

front. You simply have not been to Prague unless you have walked across the bridge. (as pictured above) The Bridge itself dates right back to the 14th century and is a hub of activity on a sunny day, as painters, musicians and other craftsmen pack the bridge. Crossing the bridge brings you to Prague castle, which, if you can muster the energy to walk to the top provides a superb view across the capital. The castle is one of the biggest in the world and also contains a cathedral that makes the walk to the top worth it in its own right.

Nightlife Although it has managed to curve the ‘lager lout’ image it was receiving, it still has a vast array of bars and clubs that satisfy all

but the fussiest of party goes. It boasts a six story club, which is located next to Charles Bridge which is definitely worth checking out. As mentioned earlier, there are also many different pub crawls that run throughout the city. They usually provide a good chance to meet people and can be good value for money if you can take advantage of the 'drink as much as you can for the first hour' deals that they usually offer.

Places to stay Prague has a vast variety of different hostels, apartments and hotels. For the budget or lone traveller, it is definitely recommended to stay in a hostel, as they provide a good place to meet people. As covered in the previous section, the Prague Square Hostel is one of the best hostels to stay at.


Explore: Berlin

Buzzing Berlin Berlin is a city that has absolutely everything, amazing history and buzzing nightlife

About Berlin Berlin is the capital of Germany and is one of the most historically important places in the whole of the Europe. It is obvious to see why, all of the landmarks are still there to see. Parts of the Berlin Wall, the Brandenburg Gate and the Reichstag are all hugely significant in the history of Europe.

Sightseeing Free tour of Berlin It is often said that the best things in life are free, and in this circumstance they may be right. Okay, so they expect you to give them a donation but you can not complain with that, this tour is an absolute must, even if you do not have an immediate interest in history. There is so much history in Berlin it is rather incredible, simply seeing the sights does not do this justice and it is far more powerful when you find out what happened at these locations. Almost all hostels and hotels should have leaflets advertising the free tour with the times it runs at, usually twice a day so there is no excuse to miss it. It takes you to each of these main sites, which are: The Reichstag The Reichstag (pictured on the right) is the German parliamentary building and it is here, that it is claimed that Hitler deliberately started a fire in order to rise to power. The history behind this building is exceedingly interesting and it also provides a free viewing dome at the very top, but be warned the queues can be quite long, especially during peak times. Brandenburg Gate The Brandenburg Gate (pictured top right) is considered to be one of the most famous landmarks in Europe. It is a mark of the division and also the unification of Berlin, as it was the main entrance to the city when the walls surrounded it. Definitely a must see for anyone in Berlin.

Clockwise from top left: Map of Europe showing Germany’s location; A view towards the Brandenburg Gates; The German parliament the Reichstag, where Hitler rose to power.

Berlin Wall Everyone knows of the Berlin Wall, but few will ever see it. In truth though, it can be a little underwhelming but worth a look none of the less. Checkpoint Charlie Checkpoint Charlie is an interesting visit, and is situated right next to some of the remaining Berlin Wall. During the East and West split of Germany, it was a crossing point between the two sides and became a symbol of the cold war.

Nightlife There could be a whole magazine written about the various night life in Berlin, it really is that varied and bustling. It has the most

vibrant nightlife of any of the European cities that I have visited, the majority of it lying in the Mitte borough. For something a little bit more alternative, head down to Kreuzberg and there will be bars on every street, you will be spoilt for choice. Many of the hostels also advertise various Berlin pub crawls, these can be a good option as the city is so vast it can be hard to find the busiest and best places. Ask around and you should be able to find one fairly easily.

Places to stay In our top 5 hostel feature, the Mitte Backpacker hostel makes an appearance, so it is an obvious recommendation but generally in Berlin the hostels are reasonably priced. May 2010 Discover: Europe

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Explore:

Belgrade

Booming Belgrade Belgrade is off of the beaten track usually tackled by travellers, James Hicks unearths the undiscovered delights

About Belgrade Belgrade is the captial of Serbia, which is a landlocked country that used to be called Serbia and Montenegro and previous to that it was part of Yugoslavia. Belgrade is an absolutely fascinating place, but first things first, it certainly is not for everyone. Initial reactions to arriving into Belgrade train station (picture top right) you are almost instantly greeted with somewhere unlike most of Europe. Having slept on the train from Budapest, and being woken up numerous times by non English speaking ticket inspectors demanding your passport, it did not have a positive effect on me when I first stumbled around looking for my hostel. The main train station, from experience, is not the best place to hang around, especially looking like an obvious tourist with a backpack. It seems to be one of those places that you either love or hate, and after a well needed night sleep, I began to start loving it.

Sightseeing Sightseeing in Belgrade is particularly different from most other cities, mainly because the NATO bombing campaign is still so visible. It is one of the only places in Europe that the destruction of war can really be seen, and it is an incredible sensation. It is so interesting to just wander down random streets, on one of the main roads, standing opposite a current government building is the remains of another building, looking like its about to collapse. It has just been left by the government, perhaps as a reminder for the anti NATO support, and it is simply incredible. It’s completely bizarre and something that needs to be experienced to fully understand. There are a number of more 10

Discover: Europe May 2010

Clockwise from top left: Map of Europe showing Serbia’s location; Train station sign welcoming you to Belgrade; A view of downtown Belgrade.

tourist style areas, one of which is these is the Cathedral of St Sava, or sometimes referred to as The Temple of St Sava. The Cathedral of St Sava As cathedral’s go, this is up there with the best of them. The 10,000 capacity building is the largest Orthdox Church in the whole world and is quite some sight.

Nightlife Rather suprisingly, Belgrade has a booming nightlife, particularly during the summer peak season. The river Danube runs through the capital and there are dozens of river boat clubs that line the river in the summer and draw in huge crowds. There are definitely some memorable nights to be had in Bel-

grade, if a little bizarre. The river boat clubs are only open during the summer and are always busy. It is a bit baffling how they are so full all the time, perhaps Serbian’s just know how to party.

Places to stay Belgrade is not spoilt for choice on hostels unlike other neighbouring countries such as Budapest. One hostel that can be recommended is the Belgrade Downtown Hostel, which is situated only a minute away from the train station. The hostel is cheap and cheerful but the real highlight is that it has an amazing view of the busy city from a balcony which backs on to one of the rooms. (as seen in the picture above).


Explore:

Sarajevo

Secluded Sarajevo Sarajevo is one of the best kept secrets in Europe, so what is there to do in the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina

About Sarajevo One thing strikes you as soon as you get into the heart of Sarajevo, is how beautiful it is. This is despite the deadly Siege of Sarajevo, which was the longest siege in modern military history during the Bosnian War, which lasted from 1992 to 1996.. Remnants of the siege are clear to see all over the city (as pictured top right), but yet it still maintains an alluring charm. Sarajevo is a relatively small city, with a population of under 500,000. It is known for being extremely diverse, particularly when it comes to religion. Islam, Orthodoxy, Catholicism and Judaism have all coexisted here over the past few centuries.

Sightseeing One thing that is exceptionally striking while wandering around Sarajevo is the dozens of huge graveyards that seem to span out for miles. During the siege, thousands were killed and many were buried in these graveyards with nearly identical gravestones, usually white crosses. Latin Bridge One of the things that Sarajevo is famous for is the Latin Bridge (pictured right). It was this bridge that Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated, which in turn has been contributed to the beginning of World War I. Interestingly, it can be quite hard to find as there is, perhaps understandably, no indication of what happened all those years ago. Sarajevo Tunnel Tour During the siege, a tunnel was built under the airport (which was under UN protection), in order to get supplies in and people out. The Serbian’s had completely cut off access to Sarajevo and this is often credited as saving the city.

Clockwise from top left: Map of Europe showing Bosnia Herzegovina’s location; Graffiti and bullet holes near the central train station; Sarajevo bridge where Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated.

There is a tunnel tour that is fully recommended, in this they take you to the house in which the tunnel entrance was secretly located. There is a rather emotional video and talk about what happened during the siege. The tour is particularly moving and ends with a coach taking a detour into the mountains to show off the fantastic views over the city. It is arguably worth doing the tour even if it is just for this fantastic view at the end. Sarajevo Rose Throughout the city, there are red pieces of filled in concrete known as Sarajevo Rose’s. After the siege, where there were mortar explosions in the streets of Sarajevo, the government filled some of them in with red concrete, which is strangely moving looking at them. They can be fairly hard to find so you may want to do your research ahead.

Nightlife During October 25th to November 5th there is the Sarajevo film festival, and during his time the night life changes dramatically. The film festival is largest in the Balkans and attracts celebrities from all over the world. Bars begin charging more and everywhere seems to be coated in golden marquees. During the peak season there are plenty of bars to keep you busy, but just try to avoid the film festival dates, unless sipping champagne is your thing.

Places to stay Without doubt the best hostel in Sarajevo is the one featured in the top 5 hostel feature, the Hostel City Center. May 2010 Discover: Europe

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Feature:

Budapest

INTERVIEW

Budapest Have you ever dreamed about visiting somewhere and liking it so much that you just decide to pick up a job and stay there? Well that is what this student has done. Amanda Klaj is a 23 year old Australian and was just passing through Budapest. Five months on and she still has not managed to leave. We find out why.

Q. So who are you and what do you do? Hi, I’m Amanda Klaj, and i currently work in two different hostels here in Budapest and absolutely loving it! I am Aussie and originally from Melbourne, but Europe has captured my heart completely.

Q. What brought you to Budapest? I was just over here in Europe backpacking before I started university. I had heard some good things about Budapest so i decided to check it out and see what all the hype was about. Needless to say, I absolutely love it here. The funny thing is, there seem to loads of other Australian’s just like me, doing random jobs in hostels just so they can stay here for longer.

Q. So what is it you do at the hostels? Well, I actually work for two different backpackers at the moment. Sorry I say back12

Discover: Europe May 2010

packers I mean hostels, that is what we call them back in Australia. So basically, my job changes but usually I am just on hand at reception to deal with people checking in and out, and any problems that they have. In one of the hostels, we regularly take the guests out in peak season on pub crawls and I get the sometimes unenviable task of looking after them! No, I’m only joking, it is a great laugh really.

Q. How did you go about finding work, is it easy? It can be quite easy, I can’t speak for other cities around Europe or how certain people will find it, but for me I thought it was quite easy. I became friendly with the hostel owner and workers from where I was staying and they suggested that I would be great working in a hostel. I was a little bit drunk at the time but decided I would love to try my hand at it. So that is how I got my first job and then the second hostel was just through word of mouth. A friend of a friend put me in contact with the owner who was refurbishing it, and he gave me the job.

Q. How long do you work and how much do you get paid? Oh that would be telling! Ha, well to be honest it is not much, if I were to work it out hourly it would be well below any minimum wage in Australia or England. There are some great perks of the job though, for example it gives me somewhere to stay for free and I get to meet so many great. In fact, I am not even entirely sure what it is I earn off the top of my head but it basically pays for me to live and have a great time so I am definitely not complaining!

Q. What are your recommended places for people to visit, and have you got a favourite? A favourite, now that is hard. I think it changes all the time, especially as you discover cool new things. That is what is so great about Budapest, there are some real hidden gems. When backpackers ask me places to go, one of the first things that spring to mind are to check out the famous Budapest baths, particularly Széchenyi Thermal Bath. (picture 1) There are so many great buildings to see

here, such as the Royal Palace, St Stephen’s Basilica and Hero Square (picture 4). These are all things that are quite obvious and if you stay in Budapest for a few days the vast majority of people will see them, even if they don’t know what they are. One thing I can not recommend enough though, is walking up to the Citadel which overlooks Budapest (picture 2), which is at the top of Gellért Hill. The views are absolutely fantastic, especially on a clear day. From almost anywhere in Budapest you can see the Liberty Statue (picture 3), which resides right at the top of the hill. Just sitting next to the statue watching sunrise or sunset is amazing.

Q. Thanks for your time Amanda, are you planning on leaving anytime soon? No plans to leave as of yet, I’m a free spirit so we’ll see what happens!

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Feature:

Budapest

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Széchenyi Thermal Bath

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This is the biggest of the Budapest bath’s is definitely worth a visit. During the peak season there can be long queues, however a little tip is that for a small extra cost you can pay for a private cubicle and skip the queue. No one seems to know this so they can spend hour’s queuing for the lockers to become available. Another tip is to get to there as early as possible, again to avoid the queues but also to make the most of it as you can stay in there all day. It can be quite pricey (around £12), so if you are on a tight daily budget you want to ensure you get your moneys worth.

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Clockwise from bottom left: The biggest of Budapest bath houses, Szécheny Thermal Bath; A view from the top of Gellért Hill; Liberty Statue at the top of Gellért Hill; Hero Square as the sun sets on it. May 2010 Discover: Europe

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Feature:

Festival Check

Festival Check There are hundreds of festivals going on in Europe this summer, James Hicks takes a look at some of the best outside of the UK

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Benicassim is a music festival in Spain on the coastline near Valencia. It is one of the best known European festivals in the UK, mainly due to the attraction of sun and beaches.

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1. Benicassim, Spain July, 15th - 19th

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Lineup Kasabian, Ian Brown, The Specials, Dizzee Rascal, Vampire Weekend, Klaxons, The Courteeners, The Prodigy, Calvin Harris, Echo And The Bunnymen, Hot Chip, Mumford & Sons, Yuksek, Magnetic Man featuring Skream & Benga, Ellie Goulding, The Cribs, Foals and more to be announced. Price and accommodation Tickets cost £160 and includes four days camping. For more information visit: http://benicassimfestival.co.uk/

Above: Map showing where each festival is. Below: Relaxing next to the stage on the beach of Benicassim

3. Dour Festival, Belgium 2. Octoberfest, Germany

July, 15th - 18th

September, 18th - October, 4th,

The Dour music festival in Belgium is a well kept secret within the UK. In mainland Europe, this festival is hot news but it rarely gets a mention in this country. Dour is situated right on the French border, in Belgium.

No European festival guide is complete without a mention of Munich’s pride and joy, the Oktoberfest beer festival. Oktoberfest is a 16 day event held each year, this year it starts on September 18th and goes on until the 4th of October. The event is free to attend so if you are anywhere near the area, then it is worth swinging by. If you want to reserve a seat though, you have to book it early.

It has more of an alternative, electronic feel to it but with aspects of hip-hop, drum and bass, dubstep and other genres. It usually has a fairly non-commercial lineup, and with the exception of Calvin Harris, there are few well known ‘pop’ acts.

For more information visit: http://www.oktoberfest.de/en/

Lineup Calvin Harris, De La Soul, Simian Mobile Disco, Faith No More, Chromeo, Los Campesi-

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nos!, The Raveonettes, The Maccabees The Subways, Final Fantasy ,Fun Lovin’ Criminals, Uffie, Black Mountain, Hadouken!, dan le sac vs Scroobius Pip, Skream and many more artists. Price and accommodation There are a number of different tickets available. 4 days without camping: £80 4 days including camping: £95 Single day tickets: £40 Single day tickets including camping: £48 The single day camping tickets allow you access to the campsite on that allocated day. For more information visit: http://www.dourfestival.eu/en/


Feature: 5

Festival Check

5. Exit Festival, Serbia July, 8th - 11th Exit is a relatively new festival having only staged its first event in 2000. Already its managed to attract some big names and also received some acclaim here in the UK. It has scooped various different awards, and is a rising force in the festival business. Part of this can be put down to how cheap the tickets are. Lineup The Chemical Brothers, Mika, Royksopp, Placebo, Missy Elliott, David Guetta, LCD Soundsystem, Pendulum Live, Ricardo Villalobos, Behemoth, Crystal Castles, Suicidal Tendencies, The Exploited, A-Trak, Boys Noize, Brodinski, Busy P, Crookers, DJ Mehdi, Dirty South, Does It Offend You, Yeah? and others.

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Price and accommodation There are only two ticket types, one for camping and one for the actual festival. 4 days pass for the festival: £85 Camping: £20 For more information visit: http://www.exitfest.org/

6. Roskilde, Denmark June, 26th - July, 4th Above: The Hives playing at Exit Festival in Serbia in 2008. Below: The main stage at Dour Festival in Belgium

4. Sziget, Hungary

and has a bigger target audience.

August 11th - 16th

Lineup Muse, Blink-182, Kasabian, The Hives, Faithless, Iron Maiden, Papa Roach, The Cribs Bad Religion, Buena Vista Social Club, Gotan Project, Billy Talent, Enter Shikari and many more artists.

The Sziget music festival in Budapest, Hungary, is one of the biggest music festivals in Europe, attracting just under 400,000 people last year. It has been running since 1993 and has gained a reputation on mainland Europe as one of the best festival experiences around. The word Sziget translates as ‘island’ in English, and that’s right, you’ve guessed it, it is on an Island. The event takes place on ‘Óbudai-sziget’ which is on the river Danube, in the north of Budapest. While Sziget is more expensive then Dour, the lineup shows this as it is more mainstream

Price and accommodation There are a number of different tickets available.

Roskilde in Denmark is one of the five biggest annual music festivals (Sziget is also one of these) and has been running since 1971. Lineup Prince, Muse, Vampire Weekend, Gorillaz, Jack Johnson, The Prodigy, LCD Soundsystem, Kasabian, Pavement, Alice In Chains, Kings of Convenience, Beach House, The Dirty Projectors, Patti Smith, NOFX, Motörhead and others. Price and accommodation There are only two ticket types, one for camping and one for the actual festival.

4 days without camping: £120 4 days including camping: £150 Single day tickets: £40 Caravan camping: £110

7 days festival with camping: £200 (3 days of music, 4 days ‘warm up’) Single day tickets: £100

For more information visit: http://www.sziget.hu/festivalenglish

For more information visit: http://www.roskilde-festival.dk/uk/ May 2010 Discover: Europe

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