To add to our ever-growing travel bucket-list, we’re eyeing some of the world’s most famous festivals, because what better way to connect to a culture other than your own than a celebration of sorts? From the wildest street-party in the world to an exquisite fireworks extravaganza, these unique festivals are once-in-a-lifetime experiences that are well-worth traveling for. If you thought these trips were out of reach, think again: the KLM Dream Deals is on NOW until 31 January, offering fares to Europe and the Americas that start as low as IDR 9,900,000! We know it’s short notice, so if you need a bit of 2018 travel inspiration, aim to coincide your trip with these world-famous celebrations, and then tack on a few more days to see the local sights.
Carnaval in Rio de Janeiro: 9 February to 14 February
With approximately a million people attending Carnaval in Rio de Janeiro, this must be hands down the biggest blowout celebration on Earth. It’s no wonder poeple from all around the world flock to see this incredible spectacle, as its famous Samba parade has locals and tourists alike dancing in the streets in the most elaborate costumes they can find. There’s singing, percussion, and all sorts of merriment. Don’t forget to check out the famous Copacabana beach while you’re at it.
King’s Day in Amsterdam: 27 April
Amsterdam’s biggest party is not what you think it is. Not a dance festival or rave party, but the Dutch King’s birthday. Known as King’s Day, the Dutch don orange from head-to-toe and take to the streets for the biggest street party of the year. From the Vondelpark to the canals, locals spend the day outdoors drinking beer and having a great time. Tack on another few days to make a side trip outside the city to the famous Keukenhof gardens and admire Holland’s technicolour tulips and daffodils, blooming from 22 March to 13 May.
Festival of Sant Joan (Night of Fire) in Barcelona: 23 to 24 June
Barcelona goes into full swing during the Summer Solstice, and if you truly want to experience the local traditions, visit at the start of summer to join in the Festival of Sant Joan. Pack a picnic, park yourself down by the biggest bonfire on the beach, pour the cava, and watch the fireworks go off while musicians play in the nearby chiringuitos (local bar).
Festas de Lisboa in Lisbon: 12 to 13 June
For a lively atmosphere in a charming setting, hit up Festas de Lisboa in June. The City of the Seven Hills becomes one giant outdoor party, as the locals parade down the Avenida da Liberdade wearing traditional costume, while folk music sets the tone. The city’s charming streets are decked out with colourful balloons, globes and garlands, and little districts called arraiais host outdoor parties where you can get your fix of beer, sangria, barbecued sardines, chouriço and more. Though Alfama is Lisbon’s oldest district, if you want to avoid the tourist-traps, you’re better off checking out the vibes at Vila Berta Graça and Bica instead.
Bastille Day in Paris: 14 July
Ah, summer in Paris. In a city brimming with bon vivants, who does a celebration better than the French? The magical City of Lights truly comes alive during the French national holiday of Bastille Day. Stroll hand-in-hand with your loved one while enjoying the exquisite fireworks at night, participate in a public dance at the fire stations, and drink lots and lots of wine. Of course, no jaunt to Paris is complete without a trip the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, the Musée d’Orsay, and the Champs-Elysees.
Globalfest (International Fireworks Festival) in Calgary: August
Take a turn around the world simply by attending Globalfest in Calgary. While its main draw is definitely the Fireworks’ Festival, where attendees can watch Calgary’s night skies light up with pretty colourful explosions; Globalfest’s OneWorld Festival is a true multi-cultural melting pot showcasing different cultures from around the world. Visitors can taste food from the Philippines, snag crafts from Azerbaijan and take photos in a traditional Japanese yukata, amongst many other fun activities, for a truly diverse experience unlike any other.
It’s your move now. Go solo, go with a friend, a partner – heck, bring the whole family. With travel deals THIS good, you need to jump on one of these flights, stat. After all, spontaneous wanderlust is a whim that should always be rewarded.
This article is proudly sponsored by KLM.