Matt Long a RoamRight Blog Author

12 Not To Miss Festivals & Events Around the World

Many of us travel for specific reasons. Whether it’s to attend a concert, a state fair or a once in a lifetime event like the running of the bulls. Whatever our reasons, there’s no doubting the fact that these festivals and special events play a major role in our time off, so today we want to highlight some of the best ones around the world as selected by our well-traveled team of travel bloggers. Many of these are well-attended but others, well, aren’t. Overall though they provide a great look at the enormous world of festivals and events that occur each and every year.

Bonnaroo - Manchester, Tennessee

In the middle of nowhere, on 700 acres of farmland lies Great Stage Park, the permanent venue for not only one of the largest outdoor music festivals, but also the biggest tent city in North America! Tents, campers, RV's are all welcome. Enjoy over 150 artists from mainstream to grassroots jam bands on stages with names like This Tent, That Tent, Which Stage and What Stage. Enjoy a change of pace with one of the live comedy shows, and enjoy all the good ‘ol southern home cooking you can eat.

Find your next favorite beer at the Broo’ers Tent which houses as many as 20 microbreweries. Grab some much-needed shade and air conditioning in the Cinema Tent, which hosts a mini film festival. Then run it all off in one of the only 5Ks that is part of a large festival. Because you’re in the middle of nowhere, the party never really stops, and sets can last into the early morning hours. After a night of dancing, greet the sun with a sunrise yoga class, or sleep in and start all over again!

Over 80,000 people attend this festival, so be prepared for crowds as far as the eye can see. It’s worth it though - you’ll go home with a dozen new friends and the experience of a lifetime.

From the post: Top 2016 Festivals To Visit Around the US

Carnival - Rio de Janeiro, New Orleans, and Venice (among other destinations)

Carnival celebrations take place all around the world, but three of the most famous carnivals are Carnaval in Rio de Janeiro, Mardi Gras in New Orleans, and Carnevale di Venezia in Italy.

These festivals take place annually and are held between Friday and Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. In Rio de Janeiro, the main event is the parade in the Sambadrome, which features decorative floats from various samba schools. It is a full spectacle with dancers, acrobats, music and more. New Orleans has a similar parade on its famous "Fat Tuesday." Venice, on the other hand, is popular among people who love the tradition of dressing up in costumes and masks from the Victorian Era, dating back to the beginnings of this celebration.

From the post: Cultural Events Every World Traveler Must Experience Once

Taste of Chicago

One of the country’s top foodie free-for-alls takes place in the Windy City every summer. The Fest300 Community hosts Chicago's finest in culinary delights during an event that initially lasted one day at its very beginning in 1980. Now, some 4 million people will attend the nation's biggest and arguably best food festival featuring not just food demonstrations and tastings but concerts that frequently sell out. Admission to the festival is free but the food tickets and some larger concerts will cost you extra.

From the post: Delicious Summer Food Festivals Not To Miss

Holi in India

Commonly known as the festival of colors, Holi is a two-day festival to celebrate the victory of good over evil and abundance of the spring harvest season. People throw colored powder and water at each other, dancing and holding parties under the sprinkles of moisture. It is a carefree festival that is fun to participate in if you do not mind getting dirty or wet. The festival is celebrated in most parts of India, with the biggest celebrations held in Mathura.

From the post: Five Not-To-Miss Festivals In India

Maryland Renaissance Festival

There are many renaissance festivals held all throughout the United States at various times during the year. Typically these fairs are designed and decorated to resemble a village in 16th century England during the time of Queen Elizabeth I. The Maryland Renaissance Festival is one of the best the U.S. has to offer and has been going on for nearly 40 years. With many delicious delectables, actors in full costume and 16th century entertainment like jousting, sword swallowing and theater performances, this event will transport you to another time and place.

From the post: Discovering European Inspired Festivals in the US

Chiles and Chocolate Festival

November in Phoenix brings about the Chiles and Chocolate Festival at the city's Desert Botanical Garden. Local vendors provide chili and gourmet chocolate-inspired treats and other southwestern delights. For entertainment, you'll find Latin music and dance performances. Entrance to the three-day festival is granted with admission to the botanical garden. This interesting culinary event strikes the right balance between spicy and sweet in a classic desert environment.

From the post: Fun and Quirky Festivals To Attend in Arizona

Songkran - Thailand

Songkran is celebrated in Thailand as the traditional Thai New Year, going from the 13th to the 15th of April. And how do they celebrate it? By creating the biggest water fight in the world!

While Songkran started as the observance of the astrological passage and the payment of respect to one's ancestors and elders, this festival grew into an event where respect is still paid, but with a mix of fun and a lot of water. So, get your water gun ready and join the crowds. You'll be wet in no time and will stay wet for three full days if you step outside your hotel. There's no way to escape it, so join them in the water fight!

From the post: Cultural Events Every World Traveler Must Experience Once

New Orleans Wine & Food Experience

Not many other US cities are as renowned for their culinary scene as New Orleans, where French, Creole and Cajun cooking combine. One great time to immerse yourself in the destination's deliciousness is during the annual New Orleans Wine & Food Experience. Here, almost 200 wineries from all over the world come to offer samples of their whites, reds and roses, which are then expertly paired with dishes from 75 local restaurants. Flavors are savored through dinners, seminars, street fairs, parties and decadent Grand Tastings. Bonus: A portion of the proceeds goes toward benefitting local nonprofits.

From the post: Delicious Spring Festivals Not To Miss In The US

Philadelphia Tall Ship Festival

The yearly tall ship festival will wow both kids and adults. Once a year, tall ships from all over the world gather in Philly. You have the opportunity to see ships from America, such as, the Oliver Hazard Perry from Rhode Island and also ships that have traveled the ocean like the L'Hermione from France.

As you tour the ships, learn the history of sailing and the individual ships. These ships are anywhere from 150 to over 200 feet long, and the towering masts rise over 120 feet into the air. The festival is full old sea shanties, games and carnival booths. It is also not unusual to walk down the piers and see people dressed in period clothing. So go, get into the spirit of things and have fun!

From the post: Must Attend Family Festivals Around The USA

San Fermín in Pamplona, Spain

If there is one festival to witness in Spain, it’s the famous running of the bulls every July in Pamplona. For 10 days the city is taken over by people dressed in the festival white pants and shirts with red bandanas and belts, declaring their allegiance to this annual fiesta. The first day is marked by the famous chupinazo, where a rocket is set off from the main square in front of city hall and the whole downtown goes wild.

Every morning at 8am, the main route though the old quarter is fenced off leading towards the bullring, while spectators ring the fences and climb up balconies for a good view of the run. A huge crowd of brave souls line up at the beginning of the run, stretching their legs and preparing for the mad dash to the bullring. As the bulls are let loose, everyone runs like crazy through the narrow streets, dodging horns and people alike. Lasting for only a minute or two, it is a great introduction to the festivities. Just make sure you book accommodation very far in advance or you’re likely to end up sleeping in a park.

From the post: Five Not-to-Miss Festivals in Spain

Stockholm Pride (Stockholm, Sweden)

Recognized as Scandinavia's largest pride festival, Stockholm Pride welcomes the LGBT community and their allies to celebrate LGBT rights and diversity. In recent years, the event has seen more than 600,000 attendees and 60,000 participants in the parade. Stockholm Pride offers an amazing array of exhibitions, lectures, seminars, workshops, and performances in every style. With thousands of temporary shops and stalls built, it is easier than ever to find something for everyone.

From the post: Three Unique Scandinavian Summer Festivals

Gilroy Garlic Festival

At this California festival you will find garlic-laced everything including bread, fries, sausage sandwiches, fried calamari, pasta, pepper steak sandwiches, and even, believe or not, ice cream. Fun for the whole family, it also includes a teen zone, children's area, wine tasting, arts and crafts, demonstrations, contests, and three stages of entertainment taking place for three days from July 24th to 26th. Yes, garlic may be good for the health but its bad for your breath, so be sure to pick up a pack of your favorite breath mints!

From the post: Delicious Summer Food Festivals Not To Miss

Use our app to check medicine names abroad, get embassy info, find security alerts and more!

Note: Available plans and coverages may have changed since this blog was published.

About the Author

Matt Long

Matt Long, a RoamRight Blog Author A luxury adventure traveler at heart, Matt Long shares his experiences with thousands of readers every day through his travel blog, As someone who has a bad case of the travel bug, Matt travels the world in order to share tips on where to go, what to see and how to experience the best the world has to offer. Matt is a Washington, DC based travel writer/photographer and has been featured on many other web sites and publications including BBC Travel, CNN GO, Huffington Post, AFAR Magazine and National Geographic Intelligent Travel. His work is also syndicated on the Flipboard and Pulse apps. Follow Matt on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and Google Plus.

Get A Free Travel Insurance Quote 

Travel smarter with travel insurance from RoamRight. Get your free, no-obligation quote online today.

I'm a partner, take me to my portal

Stay Connected!

Sign up for RoamRight's FREE monthly email newsletter to get travel tips, tricks, news, ideas, and inspiration!

The RoamRight mark is used by Arch Insurance Company and owned by its parent company, Arch Capital Group (U.S.). Insurance coverages are underwritten by Arch Insurance Company, NAIC #11150, under certain policy series, including LTP 2013 and amendments thereto. Certain terms, conditions, restrictions and exclusions apply and coverages may vary in certain states. In the event of any conflict between your policy terms and coverage descriptions on this website, the terms and conditions of your policy shall govern. Click here for privacy notice.

Copyright© 2024 Arch Insurance Company. All rights reserved.