quirky cultural experiences

Europe Beyond Landmarks: Top Unique Experiences as Voted by Brits

Europe offers an eclectic blend of cultural experiences that appeal to a vast range of travellers, but for those seeking something truly unique, easyJet has unveiled a list that is sure to pique your interest.

A recent study, in which 2,000 British holidaymakers participated, presented the public with a ‘bucket list’ of lesser-known but absolutely must-try cultural experiences across Europe. The results highlighted that 89% of travellers are now eager to engage in more adventurous and experiential holidays.

The top vote was bestowed upon France’s Festival of The Giant Omelette in Toulouse, commemorating a local legend involving Napoleon’s army feasting on a village’s grand omelette. Today, the festival continues this legacy by preparing a monumental omelette from 1,500 eggs.

A close second was the 13th century Sedlec Ossuary in Prague, an architectural marvel adorned with over 40,000 human bones. In third place, Austria’s Starkenberger Beer Pools offers guests an unusual relaxation experience by allowing them to soak in warm beer.

While France, Czechia, and Austria took the top three, the list is teeming with unique experiences spanning from the ceremonial releasing of cows in Sweden to the UK’s centuries-old cheese-rolling competition in Gloucester.

Antonio Shabbir, easyJet’s Customer Experience Director, mentioned the company’s aim to make it easier for people to experience the sheer joy of travel. He expressed hope that the list will inspire travellers to explore unfamiliar destinations and their unique offerings. Lucy Hedges, Travel Show Presenter, recommended bob-sleighing in Prague, particularly for families, praising its unique night panorama of the city.

According to the study, as travellers age, there’s an uptick in their desire for unique experiences. Approximately 28% of those aged 65 and over expressed that a quirky activity with significant character is a top holiday priority.

The list, curated from a longlist compiled by travel experts, offers insight into the evolving desires of travellers. With 46% cherishing family memories and 79% aiming for unique social media content, the future of travel seems to be leaning towards more distinctive, memory-making experiences.

The top 25 quirky cultural bucket list as voted for by British holidaymakers:

1.       Festival of the Giant Omelette (Bessières, France) – An Easter celebration featuring an omelette big enough to feed 2,000 people (43%)

2.       Sedlec Ossuary (Prague, Czechia) – A 1000+ year old church, decorated with human bones (41%)

3.       Starkenberger Beer Pools (Starkenberger, Austria) – A brewery-turned-spa that will let you soak in warm beer (40%)

4.       Bob Sledding track (Prague, Czechia) – A 1km long bob sledding track that can be enjoyed year-round (37%)

5.       Stockholm Zombie Walk (Stockholm, Sweden) – Each year, zombies flood the streets of Stockholm to raise money for charity (34%)

6.       David Hasselhoff Museum (Berlin, Germany) – A Musuem in Berlin that’s dedicated to all things David Hasselhoff (32%)

7.       Leftover Star Wars Sets (Tozeur, Tunisia) – The preserved sci-fi city of Tatooine from the original 1977 film set (32%)

8.       La Raima (Pobla del Duc, Spain) – AKA “The Battle of the Grapes”, this is a grape fight with 90 tonnes of ammo (32%)

9.       Coopers Hill Cheese Rolling (Gloucestershire, UK) – A centuries-old race in Gloucestershire that sees participants race a wheel of cheese down a very steep hill (31%)

10.   Air Guitar Championships (Rovaniemi, Finland) – Founded in 1996, and aiming to promote world peace through music, participants put their air guitar skills to the test (31%)

11.   Kosläpp (Nationwide, Sweden) – This annual event sees farmers release cows from their winter-proof barns and let them roam free – (29%)

12.   Mud Olympics (Brunsbüttel, Germany) – Participate in mud football, mud handball, and other sports in this tradition now tied with a local music festival called “Mudstock” (28%)

13.   King of Kaszubska Street (Szczecin, Poland) – One of Szczecin’s most beloved tourist’s attractions: a stray cat, known as Gacek (27%)

14.   Tabernas Wild West (Almeria, Spain) – Transport yourself back to the Wild West at an authentic Western Theme Park, complete with pool areas, restaurants, and more (27%)

15.   Kirkpinar (Istanbul, Turkey) – Dating back to 1360, this traditional Turkish oil wrestling will see participants trying to pin their opponents (24%)

16.   Rouketopolemos (Chios, Greece) – Each year, two churches on opposing sides of a ravine hold a spectacular fight using homemade fireworks (23%)

17.   Wife Carrying Championship (Sonkajärvi, Finland) – An annual race that sees men carry their wives across a gruelling obstacle course, with the winner earning their wife’s weight in beer (23%)

18.   Up Helly Aa (Shetland, UK) – Dating back to the Victorian era, this Scottish town transform into Vikings for one evening only. Festivities include a parade, and the ceremonial burning of a ship which is then danced around (21%)

19.   Visit Syros (Mykonos, Greece) – Take a hike to this medieval village that overlooks the Aegean (19%)

20.   Gozo Beach (Gozo, Malta) – Soak in the rays at a deserted beach on the island of Gozo (18%)

21.   Kukeri (Nationwide, Bulgaria) – Between January and March, local men and boys dress up as monsters to chase away evil spirits (18%)

22.   Goat Yoga (Amstelveen, Netherlands) – Join a yoga class with a difference in this farm, by finding your inner zen surrounded by goats (18%)

23.   Viking Sushi Adventure (Stykkisholmur, Iceland) – Take a historical boat trip through the Fjords, while the crew catch fresh shellfish and other seafood, which is then served up to you (17%)

24.   The Underwater city of Heracleion (Alexandria, Egypt) – Scuba dive down to the lost city of Heracleion, now exhumed from the depths of the red sea (15%)

25.   Calcio Fiorentino (Florence, Italy) – Experience football in its early days by watching a game from the Middle Ages, which is a mix of football, rugby, and wrestling (14%)

Rouketopolemos – a firework fight over a ravine in Chios, Greece; the air guitar world championships in Oulu, Finland; and the ceremonial releasing of cows in Sweden, also featured on the list.

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