Festivals are great…but festivals abroad are even better! Travel is in for 2024, there has never been a better time to start planning some much-needed trips away with friends. To help you out with deciding where to go, we’ve wrapped up the weird, the wonderful and the wackiest festivals across the world. So, here are 10 of the best festivals abroad to add to your bucket list!

1. La Tomatina, Valenica

La Tomatina Festival
Source:Conde Nast

When: 28th August 2024

Firstly, La Tomatina is probably the wackiest festival abroad on this list. Every year on the last Wednesday of August, revellers descend on the small town of Bunol near Valencia, to participate in what is essentially, a giant food fight. During this, more than one hundred metric tonnes of over-ripe tomatoes are thrown in the streets. It’s fair to say, things get messy.

2. Oktoberfest, Munich

Oktoberfest, Munich

When: 21st September – 6th October, 2024

Chances are you’ve probably heard of Oktoberfest. In fact, this two-week-long German beer festival that is held yearly in Munich is one of the easiest and best festivals abroad to attend from the UK (although probably not the healthiest.) Total beer consumption during Oktoberfest is upwards of 75,800 hectolitres (about 2 million gallons). Alongside drinking, you can expect plenty of dancing, games and competitions. Of course, lederhosen’s are essential.

3. Coachella, LA

When: 14th April – 23rd April 2023

Calling all fashionistas, music lovers and wannabe actors; this one for you. Next on our list of the best festivals abroad is the LA-based Music and Arts festival, Coachella. It’s much loved by celebrities and showcases popular and established musical artists as well as emerging artists and reunited groups. In fact, it’s one of the most popular festivals in the US and in the world. You never know, you might spot Dua Lipa there!

4. Hideout Festival, Croatia

Hideout festival Croatia
Source: Hideout Festival

When: 23rd – 27th June 2024

A holiday to Croatia would be amazing but coinciding your trip with the world-famous music festival, Hideout would be the dream! This five-day music festival is held on the beach with world-class electronic acts, playing in five open-air venues. Just think- you can top up your tan while partying hard. Expect beach parties, boat parties, pool parties and more! No wonder Hideout is considered by many as the best festival abroad. It’s also considered among the best European music festivals too!

5. Kings Day, Amsterdam

Kings Day Amsterdam
Source: Canva

When: every year on 27th April 

On Kings day, the Dutch gather in Amsterdam to celebrate- you guessed it- the king. You expect street parties, boat parties, music and markets. The only rule is that the dress code is orange! Book your flights and accommodation early, things sell out fast.

6. The Full Moon Party, Thailand

The full moon party thailand
Source: Canva

When: Monthly, according to the full moon

We admit that The Full Moon Party isn’t exactly a festival abroad. It is, however, one of those events that everyone should experience once in their life (and ideally on your gap year.) Every month on the Thai island of Koh Phangnan, thousands upon thousands of people descend onto the beach for one of the world’s biggest beach parties that lasts from sundown and goes well into the next morning (or as long as you can stay awake.) Expect a wide spectrum of music, fire shows and upsized cocktails in buckets. Don’t forget your neon face paint!

7. Carnival, Rio De Janeiro

Carnival Rio
Source: Canva

When: 9th – 17th February, 2024

If there’s one festival abroad that should make it onto your bucket list, it’s Carnival in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. Carnival in Rio is the biggest in the world, with upwards of two million people a day on the streets. The carnival parade is filled with revellers, floats, and adornments from numerous samba schools. Considering it takes place in Brazil, it’s no surprise that it’s one of the most extravagant, fun-loving, best festivals in the world.

8. Tomorrowland, Belgium

Tomorrowland, Belgium
Source: Canva

When: 19th – 21st and 26th – 30th July 2024

Next on our list is the Belgium music festival, Tomorrowland.  If you haven’t heard of it, you should have- considering it is the biggest electronic music festival in the world. Past headliners have included the likes of David Guetta, Swedish House Mafia and Avicci. Buy your tickets now!

9. Holi, India

Holi India
Source: Canva

When: 25th March 2024

There’s never a dull sight in Holi, a popular Hindu festival that’s known as the festival of colours. Because of its religious ties, you’ll often find smaller Holi events in countries all across the world from Australia to the US. However, Holi in India is something else. On the eve of the festival, large pyres are lit across India to signify the burning of evil spirits. Then, on the day itself, everyone takes to the streets throwing coloured powder into the air and at each other. You can enjoy Holi all across India with some popular locations including Mathura in Upper Pradesh, Udaipur in Rajasthan and Shantiniketan in Kolkata. Just don’t wear your favourite t-shirt!

10. Day of the Dead, Mexico 

Day of the Dead Festival, Mexico
Source: Washington post

When: 2nd November annually

Last but definitely not least is the Day of the Dead in Mexico. If the opening scene from the James Bond film, Spectre, wasn’t enough to whet your appetite then you only need to look at photos of the wonderful costumes and decorations that are put on every year for this event. You can expect plenty of parades and street parties as revellers come together to celebrate life and death. Some popular places to celebrate include Mexico City, Oaxaca and Yucatan.

11. SXM Festival, Saint Martin, Caribbean

SXM Festival festivals abroad Caribbean

When: 11th – 18th March 2024

SXM Festival is celebrated as one of the most beautiful festivals globally by various international media outlets. This week-long festival, a blend of music, art, culture, and a tropical retreat, has been a highlight since its inception in 2016. Known for its picturesque settings perfect for Instagram, SXM Festival offers a rich tapestry of cultural experiences, adventurous day trips, and unique island activities, all enhancing the meticulously planned event. The lineup for 2024 includes notable artists such as Cassy, DJ Three, Culoe de Song, Konstantine Sibold, Manda Moor, Doc Martin, Oxia, Robag Wruhme, Vintage Culture, and Wally Lopez, among others.

12. Medaina Festival, Jordan

Medaina Festival Jordan Petra

When: 22nd – 27th May, 2024

New for 2024, Medaina Festival is set to be one of the best festivals abroad this year. After achieving remarkable success with Echoes from Agartha in Cappadocia, Turkey, and Labryinto in Guanacaste, Costa Rica, the co-founders of Tithorea production company, Shahin Mani and Sherif Koyess, have unveiled their latest venture: Medaina. This innovative festival spans five days and takes place across two locations in the breathtaking Kingdom of Jordan. Medaina is set to be hosted in the historic and visually captivating sites of Petra and Wadi Rum, offering a unique blend of cutting-edge music and arts in settings that have never been combined in this way before.

There are 12 of the best festivals abroad to add to your bucket list. Have you been to any of these events or are there any other ones that you think should be on this list? Let us know. Don’t forget, there are plenty of great festivals in the UK to go to if you can’t get away this year and we’ve come up with plenty of hacks to help you prepare for them.