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Top 8 Summer Music Festivals in the World

A music festival is a timeless way to see new places, spend time with your favorite people, and hear some great live music. A good festival, of course, is more than the sum of its parts. It’s a chaotic meshing of sounds, socializing, food, unique fashion statements, creative art forms, and merchandise. Ever since Woodstock, music festivals have become a rite of passage for young people and, increasingly, people of all ages. Best of all, there are amazing festivals in all corners of the globe. Let’s look at some of the top summer music festivals in the world.

1. Lollapalooza

Grant Park, Chicago, USA

Right in the heart of downtown, Chicago, Lollapalooza is an amazing festival that’s been running since 1991. It features eight stages and more than 170 bands, covering a wide range of styles. A festival in an urban setting can either be a perk or a drawback, depending on your point of view. On the one hand, you don’t have to drive into the wilderness and set up your campsite. You have all the city amenities within walking distance. Chicago is famous for its great food (especially pizza), bars, museums, and impressive skyline. On the other hand, escaping civilization is one of the features that draws you to festivals, you have plenty of other choices.
In addition to music, Lollapalooza has a mini-festival for kids, an art market, and plenty of merch. You can buy 4-day tickets for the entire festival or single-day tickets. There are also hotel packages. Children under 10 with an adult are admitted free (up to two kids per adult).

2. FYF Fest

Los Angeles, CA, USA

This annual 3-day festival is held at Exposition Park in Los Angeles. FYF Fest has been popular on the West Coast since 2004 and is known for its edgy atmosphere and diverse selection of music, including pop, rock, rap, electronic, hip-hop, and indie. It’s a good festival choice for those with eclectic tastes.

3. Tomorrowland

Boom, Belgium

Tomorrowland is a two-weekend festival that combines electronic music and the arts with a vision for a more peaceful and environmentally sustainable future. This festival began in 2005 and attracts an enthusiastic audience from all over the world. In some ways reminiscent of Burning Man in the U.S., Tomorrowland is full of futuristic visions, art installations, and its own “city,” DreamVille.
There are several options for accommodations, from As with most festivals, there are many tiers for ticket prices, depending on when you buy tickets, what you want to experience, and how long you stay. There are quite a few creative options, at various prices for lodging, including simple tents, tiny home-like structures to luxury “mansions.”

4. Hideout

Zrce Beach, Croatia

Hideout is a good choice if you want to get an early start to celebrating the summer. Set in a remote and pristine location on the Adriatic Sea with a view of mountains, this festival is famous for its boat rides, beach parties, and a wide selection of electronic music. As the name suggests, Hideout is a place where you can escape the everyday rut and experience an idyllic world for a few days.
This is also a great festival for adventurous travelers who enjoy water sports such as jet skiing, boating, and quad biking. Festival goers have a chance to island hop and explore beautiful Plitvice Lakes National Park.

5. Electric Zoo

 New York City, USA

Electric Zoo is an end-of-summer Labor Day festival held at Randall’s Island Park, a 480-acre urban park on the border of Brooklyn, Queens, and The Bronx. Established in 2009, Electric Zoo has been held all over the world. The original location, however, is New York. The 2018 theme is The 6th Boro, which reveals the ambitious attempt to make the festival a permanent part of the New York City (which has five official boroughs or counties) cultural scene.
Their past lineup included DJ Snake, Above & Beyond, Galantis, and Sasha & John Digweed. Check the website for early bird tickets.

6. Wireless Festival

London, UK

If you want to visit London this summer, you may want to schedule your trip to coincide with this festival, held at Finsbury Park. Now in its 13th year, Wireless has become one of the most popular music festivals in the UK. Since Wireless is an urban festival, you have to find your own accommodations. London, however, is an easy city to navigate. If you don’t want to spring for a costly hotel, there are plenty of hostels and reasonable Airbnb options.

7. Arise

 Loveland, Colorado, USA

The Arise Music Festival, approaching its 6th year, is a diverse event held at Sunset Ranch, a 350-acre organic farm in a scenic valley. In addition to music, Arise gives participants the chance to explore a variety of classes, workshops, and art installations. Many attendees are active in political and environmental causes. One of the requirements is that you “leave no trace” –i.e. clean up and leave the grounds as you found them.
Tickets for the 3-day festival include camping. Car camping is another option. There are also camping upgrades available if you want additional amenities.

8. Montreux Jazz Festival

Montreux, Switzerland

The Montreux Jazz Festival, founded in 1967, is one of the most glamorous and popular jazz festivals in the world. The program typically includes rock, soul, and blues musicians as well as jazz greats. On the scenic shores of Lake Geneva, the setting is perfect for relaxation and boat rides as well as great music, parties, and socializing.
Montreux has a variety of venues to enjoy music and special events, such as the Auditorium Stravinski, known for its outstanding acoustics and the Montreux Jazz Club, where you can enjoy intimate performances by contemporary artists. Visit the website to find out program details. Past participants have included B.B. King, David Bowie, Prince, Leonard Cohen, Radiohead, and scores of other household names as well as new performers.
You can buy an all-music pass or attend one of the festival’s many free events such as jam sessions, concerts, and film screenings.

Music Festivals Make the Summer More Fun

A music festival can be the highlight of summer vacation. If it’s close to home, it can make for an awesome road trip. The above are some of the most exciting summer festivals in the world. Some festivals don’t announce their lineups until fairly late in the season. However, keep in mind that tickets often sell out fast. So, if you want to attend one of these festivals, it’s best to buy your tickets early!

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How To Live Like the Locals in Belgium

Belgium Streets

Locals generally understand that tourists will often do or say something out of place. Yet at the same time, they always appreciate when someone tries to understand their way of life.
So if you’re planning to visit Belgium, here are some tips to do just that.

Skip the Gratuity

Unlike Americans, service workers in Belgium don’t expect to be tipped. Also unlike in the States, their employers usually pay them decent wages and they don’t really need gratuity. Whether it’s your waitress, tour guide, taxi driver, hotel staff, or hairdresser, the rule of thumb is to not worry about giving a tip. Most of the time, gratuity or service charges are included on the bill. Of course, if the service was exceptional, it’s always appreciated when customers throw in a few extra Euros.

Greeting Your Neighbors

In some European countries, the locals are overly friendly. By contrast, folks in Belgium prefer to keep to their own personal space. When it comes to meeting new people, they keep it formal. A brief handshake is common between folks who don’t know each other, while three kisses on the cheek may be used after a relationship is developed. Men always greet each other with a handshake regardless of how well they know each other.

Accepting Invitations

As you get to know the locals, you may find yourself being invited into someone’s home. Should that happen, there are a few gift-giving etiquette points to remember. Flowers or chocolates are acceptable gifts for any occasion, but save the wine for close friends. If you choose to go with flowers, make sure there’s an odd number in the bundle (but not 13). Even numbers are reserved for sad occasions like funerals and grieving periods. Likewise, avoid white chrysanthemums, as they’re a symbol of death in Belgium.

Dress Up

Just like the Belgians like to keep their greetings formal, they also feel it’s important to keep up appearances. Most are concerned about what kind of impression they leave on other people, so they like to dress well and can be wary of those who don’t follow the same practices. Similarly, they keep their residences as neat and tidy as possible. Cleanliness is a matter of national pride, and it’s not uncommon to see some locals sweeping the streets or washing the steps and pavement in front of their houses. So remember to clean up after yourself, don’t track mud through a house, and dress nicely.

Sample the Chocolate

Belgian chocolate is famous for a reason. Their confections are quite pure compared to most other countries, and there are literally thousands of shops throughout the country that sell nothing else. Chances are, no matter where you go, you’ll find chocolate. Additionally, Belgium ranks second in the world for their consumption of the sweet treat. So the easiest way to live like the locals is to eat some chocolate!

Check Out the Nightlife

Belgium has an active nightlife, and the locals tend to start the night early. Some head out on the town as soon as they finish work and keep going until they go home to bed—or until sunrise, whichever comes first. In the summertime, Belgians like to socialize while sipping ale and hanging out at the tables sitting outside the shops, a tradition called terrasken. Seef is a local favorite, which won Best Specialty Beer at the annual World Beer Awards in 2014. It’s worth noting that Belgians like their beers strong, so pace yourself and feel free to hang around as long as you like.

Hop on a Bike

If you’re going to be spending your day traveling around the city, consider skipping the taxi and biking through the streets instead. It’s pretty easy to find bike rentals, and it’s a great way to explore the area. You can either wander the area on your own, or you can book a bike tour and have a local guide show you around. Whichever route you decide to go, you’re sure to find some hidden gems along the way.

Get Creative

When you’re in a new place, it’s easy to get caught up in the idea of just sightseeing and visiting old buildings rather than exploring what the local culture has to offer. In Belgium, that can be remedied by checking out its thriving art scene. One of the region’s best-kept secrets is a large number of venues that cater to creative individuals. Whether you’re into crafts, photography, film, literature, theater, pottery, or any other artsy hobby, you’ll find something to spark your interest. Ask around to find creative workshops hosted by the locals, and you’ll have fun learning something new while getting to know the townsfolk.

A Tip From the Locals: Don’t Try to Speak the Language

In most countries, people will be flattered if you take the time to learn their language in order to better communicate with them. As such, they understand if you flub a phrase here and there. That’s not quite the case in Belgium.
The country has three official languages: French, German, and Dutch. That said, the languages aren’t exactly regional. Locals choose for themselves what they speak in their households, and this can lead to serious confusion for foreign visitors. You might speak Dutch to a shop owner, assuming he can understand that language since most of the population does. But instead he speaks German or one of the local dialects that’s impossible to translate.
For this reason, locals generally prefer that visitors stick to English. More than half the population can speak it fluently, so it’s a safe fallback for communication.
The generally formal atmosphere in Belgium can seem intimidating at first, but don’t let it discourage you. The Belgians are a friendly bunch and more than willing to show you the ropes. When in doubt, just ask!

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A Foodie’s Guide to Eating in Belgium

Bringing your appetite to Belgium is as important as your passport and luggage, as the French-Flemish country has a mouth-watering collection of foods to try while enjoying the unique culture and landmarks. From sumptuous stews and French fries (don’t call them that, though) to the world-famous chocolates, this Western European country is the most delicious destination for visitors. Belgium’s many delectable dishes and treats are sure to leave you wishing you had a few more days on your itinerary. Here’s a foodie’s guide to help you start your tasty journey to Belgium.

The Belgian Staples

It’s debatable who actually first created French fries, but there’s no question that the Belgians have taken them to an art form and that they’ve earned their spot as a national culinary staple. There are also a wide variety of different dishes that use fries—usually with mayonnaise—as more of a co-equal part of the meal than as a side item. French fries with steak or mussels steamed in white wine are two of the classics that you’ll find on menus all over the country, but you’ll also find fries accompanying a wide variety of other dishes as well. Even if you’re not someone who typically goes for fries (called frites in French-speaking areas or frieten elsewhere), not trying them before leaving Belgium is a culinary sin. Continue reading A Foodie’s Guide to Eating in Belgium

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Best Romantic Getaways in Belgium

Romantic Belgium Getaways

Belgium is rich in its heritage, history, culture, art, and architecture, making it a must-visit location for any romantic tourists with a passion for anything and everything history, culture, arts, and architecture. Along with all of these amazing attractions, Belgium offers all of the traditional comforts of Western European traveling.
Belgium is a wealthy nation with a high-income economy that provides its citizens, as well as tourists and visitors, with a comfortable lifestyle. The standard of living and healthcare systems all rank “Very High” on the Human Development Index (HDI). Belgium is also ranked as one of the safest places in the world to visit, as it has a very low crime rate.
This makes Belgium the perfect romantic getaway to a Western European land where you can learn about the heritage, history, culture, art, and architecture of the area as well as enjoy a romantic, quiet get-away with your partner.
While there are many places in Belgium that are comforting, relaxing, and resort-like, there are some that stand out as particularly romantic and relaxing and are places you should definitely consider when you are looking for a romantic trip away from the hustle and bustle of daily life.

Stay At the De Witte Lelie in Antwerp

The De Witte Lelie is a 17th-century style gabled house and a beautiful, eclectic boutique hotel. The De Witte Lelie is conveniently located within a 10-minute walk of a variety of attractions such as the Meir shopping street and the 17th-century Rubenshuis museum, as well as a variety of other must-see attractions in the Antwerp area.
Your stay at the De Witte Lelie is guaranteed to be comfortable despite the hotel being a 17th-century style gabled house. The De Witte Lelie is full of modern amenities and conveniences that will make your stay more comfortable, including Wif, air conditioning, full laundry services, room service, and parking that is within close proximity of your hotel. A complimentary continental breakfast will help you get off to a great start each day while saving you the time, hassle, and money of having to go out to find something to eat before you start another day of romantic adventures and explore attractions throughout Antwerp.
Combining its beautiful history and modern amenities, the De Witte Lelie is a perfect spot to enjoy a peaceful, quiet, romantic getaway with your partner. Let go of all the worries of the world and spend some time exploring the beautiful, historic city of Antwerp while also appreciating the comfort and style that the De Witte Lelie provides during your stay in Belgium.

Visit Chateau D’Hassonville – Marche En Famenne

The Chateau D’Hassonville is built on what used to be the hunting grounds of Louis XIV and today is a 55-hectare acre property that is home to this beautiful, classic, palace-like hotel. The Chateau D’Hassonville is a romantic, secluded oasis where you and your partner will enjoy a peaceful, quiet getaway away from the hustle and bustle of reality and daily life. Enjoy quality time together for just the two of you.
Enjoy the Chateau D’Hassonville in style as the hotel offers a variety of modern amenities that ensure that you have a comfortable stay while also enjoying getting away. Your stay will be made more comfortable with free parking, complete laundry services, room service, complimentary Wifi, and an on-site restaurant for you and your partner to enjoy.
In addition to all of these great amenities on-site, the Chateau D’Hassonville is located within 10 miles of many other tourist attractions including Wallonie Expo, Rochefort Chateau, and the City Centre. Many outdoor activities from enjoying hot air balloon rides to Jeep Safari tours offer a variety of ways to see the area while allowing guests to appreciate the beautiful nature that Belgium has to offer, which offers an intimate experience for both you and your partner.

Enjoy a Luxurious Stay at the White Rooms in Burges

The White Rooms in Burges add a bit of a different feel to romantic getaways as they offer stylish lofts and apartments to stay in rather than just a typical hotel room. These beautiful lofts and apartments at the White Rooms are located in the beautiful, romantic city of Burges. All lofts and apartments were designed and furnished by the award-winning designer Natalie Haegerman who added a strong Flemish culture to each and every individual design. These apartments also come with all of the modern amenities you would expect at an upscale hotel/resort including complimentary Wifi, heat, air conditioning, laundry services, apartment (room) services, and plenty of available parking.
If you choose not to rent or use a vehicle while you are on your getaway, the White Rooms are close to a variety of tourist attractions for you and your partner to enjoy while on your romantic getaway. The White Rooms are close to the Burges city center where you can visit historic landmarks such as the Basilica of Holy Blood and the Groeninghe & Gruuthouse Museum that is home to artists that date back as far as 300 years.
Moreover, the city center of Burges is quite compact and close by as the entire city center is compact enough to walk around in about one hour. The concept of so many interesting things to do being within about an hour’s walk of the White Rooms at Burges apartments makes these apartments the ideal place to stay no matter what you want to experience in the town of Burges. Easy access to activities and attractions draws many people to stay in these luxurious apartments while they are on a romantic getaway trip with their partner.
No matter what your personal preferences may be when it comes to a romantic getaway with your sweetheart, Belgium is sure to please any traveler looking for history and adventure.