Coast & culture: the HI Europe festival route, 2015

Last modified on April 13th, 2015 at 10:22 am

April 07, 2015

There are a huge slew of festivals across Europe, but spring and summer creeping up on the northern hemisphere surely means beach lounging and long, sunny days on the Mediterranean coastline and its surrounding cities.

We have so many hostels in Europe it’s overwhelming, but plotting an itinerary with us has its perks; if you’re a HI member, you are saving 10% on all accommodation, meaning that making your way from A to B on a European adventure becomes more affordable than ever.

With calendars bursting with captivating cultural events, we’ve highlighted a few top coastal festivals to bookmark for your 2015 dose of globe-trotting.

Italy: Florence – Gelato festival

April 30th – May 3rd


One of the sweetest, greediest and most delicious events in the European festival calendar, the Gelato festival will be held in the centre of historical gardens of Palazzo Congressi, Florence, and is on hand to tickle your taste buds for four whole days. Some say ice cream was actually invented in Florence back in the 1500s, so you know they’ve nailed all your favourite flavours.

Fall into a food coma at our Florence hostels.

France: Cannes – Cannes Film Festival


May 13th – 24th

One of the biggest and busiest events in the world cinema calendar, this is an exciting time to be in this Mediterranean area, where the atmosphere is buzzing and celebrity spotting is definitely on the cards. Cannes film festival might be an industry event, meaning you need accreditation to see any showings, but you can still enjoy huge outdoor film screenings at Cinéma de la Plage, meander around for fascinating people watching, and enjoy the beautiful beaches stretching along Nice’s coastline and beyond.

Find your own piece of budget luxury at our Nice hostels.

Turkey: Istanbul – Babylon Soundgarden


May 23rd

One of Istanbul’s most loved music venues, Babylon Kilyos, allows you to enjoy the spirit of summer music by the sea through performances from international and local DJs, electronic and swing artists, including Istanbul dance group Lindy Hoppers. It may not be hugging the Mediterranean, but Istanbul sure embodies a strong, deeply-rooted culture and that relaxed coastal atmosphere.

 Catch some shut-eye at our beautiful and quirky hostels in Istanbul.

Spain: Barcelona – Primavera Sound

May 28th – 30th


A bonafide indie giant, Primavera Sound soldiers on into this year with a massive line-up to make it well worth the journey, including the Black Keys, Patti Smith, Alt-J, Interpol and James Blake. For its 15th edition in 2015, you can be a part of something special as you bask in Barcelona’s Parc del Fòrum with stunning sea views, with the city centre just a few kilometres to the south-west.

Stay at one of our centrally located Barcelona hostels.

Greece: Athens – Art-Athena, International Contemporary Art Fair

4th – 7th June


Endless coffees, evening strolls and vibrant nightlife are ingredients which make Athens appealing to visitors, but it is also undergoing a radical period of urban renewal through new art precincts. Art-Athena is a festival at the forefront of this exciting time, and is both the largest visual arts event in Greece, and one of the longest standing in Europe. Held this year at the Faliro Pavilion, 2015 will showcase a broad spectrum of the bizarre, wonderful and fascinating pieces from Greek and international galleries – including sculpture and exhibitions.

Get your art kicks and use our Athens hostels as a base.

Croatia: Zagreb – Inmusic festival

June 22nd – 24th


Located on the banks of lake Jarun in Croatia’s quality capital city, the surrounding area of INmusic festival consists of beaches and is thickly clad with forest, a secluded outcrop within the metropolis. More exciting is the appearance of some of music’s greatest international names at this relatively small and intimate festival – Placebo, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Death Cab for Cutie and Future Islands give a good balance of ever-present rock names and new age fusion indie.

Stay at our centrally located Zagreb hostels for a taste of city life alongside the craziness of festival celebrations.

Slovenia: Ljubljana – Summer Festival

July 1st – September

Cvièkarija Ljubljana

Ljubljana’s Summer Festival is one of Slovenia’s oldest and most important festivals held annually, usually from late June to mid-September in the open air Križanke Summer Theatre. The great thing about this event is that it spans over two months, meaning you can delve into this tiny country ripe for exploration, along with catching those musical, theatrical and dance performances which jump out most from the line-up, in majestic yet modern Ljubljana.

Take your pick from our contemporary hostels in Ljubljana offering both character and comfort.

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