Europe’s summer of culture

If you’re in need of a cultural fix, then look no further than Europe this summer. From street-long festivals, to the opening of gravity-defying buildings, you’ll have to see most of these things yourself to believe it.

MAY: Art-Athina, Athens

Greece’s largest visual arts event attracts almost 20,000 people from around the world, many coming to collect and exhibit; many more stopping to take in the buzzing atmosphere. Whether you’re a hard-core collector, or just an amateur art-admirer, you’re sure to find something to catch your eye.

JUNE: MuCEM Opening, Marseille

Mucem - seen from outside

The French port city has undergone a massive £6 billion makeover in preparation for its turn as the 2013 European Capital of Culture – and one of the most hotly anticipated events is the grand opening of the Museum of the Civilisations of Europe and the Mediterranean. The 236-foot building is in the shape of a perfect square, covered with concrete lace and boasts a suspended rooftop footbridge. It’s unlike anything Marseille (or France for that matter) has ever seen before.

JULY: Biennale, Venice

The world-famous Biennale has come round again, packing the canals with some of the biggest names in art. The Encyclopedic Palace is the theme for this year, with 88 National Participations exhibiting at the Giardini and the Arsenale. However, if art isn’t your forte, there are plenty of other events and exhibitions – the 70th Venice Film Festival runs from August-September, followed by the Music Biennale from 4-13 October.

AUGUST: Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Edinburgh

The largest arts festival in the world, Scotland really puts on a show over August – last year there were no less than 2,695 shows over the 25 days. How’s that for a culture fix? The festival encompasses everything – mainly comedy and theatre, but also dance and music. It’s the kind of place where anything goes! As well as the shows, there’s also a street fair along the Royal Mile. You’re welcome to join in the festivities or simply sit back and soak up the atmosphere.

SEPTEMBER: International Literature Festival, Berlin

Slow down the pace and head to Germany for readings from budding poets and writers. The annual festival features an array of culturally diverse talents – over 150 authors from around the world will offer up their work for discussion and debate. You’ll definitely walk away from this one having learnt something.

OCTOBER: Kulturnatta, Gothenburg

As summer slowly fades, head north to the Swedish city of Gothenburg for the city’s night of culture. Think theatre performances, live music, poetry readings, film screening, and so much more – all the venues open their doors to the public with many of the events offering free entry.

Sounds interesting? So pack your bags, apply for some extended leave and get going. Make sure you get some insurance protection for such a complex trip across Europe.


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