Ahh Europe... birthplace to some of the world's most famous composers, musicians and songwriters, and home to a great selection of intimate music bars, awesome underground scenes, world-famous clubs, live music venues and stunning opera houses. There really is no place like it.
Asked what the musical capitals of Europe are, there are only a handful. Vienna - known for its classical composers and grand opera; Paris - known for its fabulous jazz lounges, can-can girls and chanson sweetheart Edith Piaf; London - an iconic musical city, birthplace of David Bowie, Amy Winehouse, Adele, The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Queen and Fleetwood Mac; Berlin - a grungy underground scene known for its techno and house genres, industrial clubs and, of course, Rammstein; and, perhaps the most famous of them all, Liverpool - birthplace of the Beatles and Cilla Black and more chart-topping musicians than anywhere else in the world.
Known as the City of Music for good reason, Vienna's musical heritage stretches back centuries, each one influencing the countless talented composers that called the city home, from Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven to Strauss, Schubert, Brahms and Mahler.
The city hosts some incredible musical venues and attractions. A must-visit is the breathtaking Renaissance Revival-style Vienna State Opera, built in the 1860s and home to the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and Vienna State Ballet. The House of Music documents the human relationship with music though hi-tech exhibits and sensory experiences. Don't forget to visit the birthplaces of Mozart and Beethoven, and learn about their lives, talents and legacies.
Campsites near Vienna
Camping Wien Neue Donau (5.8 miles from Vienna) This is a very good site from which to visit Vienna. It is easily accessible from the Autobahn system and the city centre is quickly reached from the site by the efficient Vienna U-bahn system, line U2. Some train tickets can be purchased at reception. There is some traffic and train noise as is found on most city sites.
Donaupark Klosterneuburg(8.9 miles from Vienna) Klosterneuburg lies just to the north of Vienna on the Danube. It is outside the city boundary, away from the noise and bustle of the famous city but only minutes away by train. Owned and run by the Austrian Motor Club (OAMTC), this site is in a park-like situation, surrounded by trees but with little shade. Alongside the site is Happyland, an amusement park which also has a large swimming pool.
Donaupark Camping Tulln(22.8 miles from Vienna) Donaupark Camping, owned and run by the OAMTC, is imaginatively laid out, village style, with unmarked grass pitches grouped around six circular gravel areas. Further pitches are to the side of the hard road which links the circles. Activities are organised in high season with guided tours around Tulln on foot, by bike and on the river by canoe.
The 1920s in Paris was jazz hot, fashionable, dynamic and dazzling. The music scene was booming; Joséphine Baker, Maurice Chevalier and Mistinguett shot to stardom. Socialites and the working class rubbed shoulders in some of the city's most exciting jazz lounges, theatres and dance halls. One hundred years later, Paris is still a lively city of music - its genres spanning hip hop, rap, classical, pop, indie and world.
Edith Piaf, Charles Aznavour, Johnny Hallyday, Serge Gainsbourg, Françoise Hardy, Daft Punk and Stromae are just some of the famous names to come out of the City of Love.
Campsites near Paris
Camping de Paris (6.7 miles from Paris) A busy site and the only one within Paris, set in a wooded area between the Seine and the Bois de Boulogne. The site is quite extensive but nevertheless becomes very full with many international visitors, with noise well into the night, despite the rules. There are 459 pitches of varying size of which 313 are marked.
Camping Paris Est(9.4 miles from Paris) This site is on flat land beside the River Marne with 450 pitches. The 220 touring pitches are on gravel and are separated by hedges. All have electricity (10A) but water has to be fetched from the toilet blocks except for the 32 serviced pitches. There is also a large area of grass pitches for camping where there are water points but no electricity. It is very much a short-stay site and it can be noisy late at night with groups staying here, although it appears to be well run.
Huttopia Versailles(10.9 miles from Paris) This Huttopia site is rather different. When the French owners visited Canada and experienced ‘back to nature’ camping, they were so impressed that they decided to introduce the idea to France. This is probably a little like camping as it used to be, but with some big differences. Gone are the formal pitches with neatly trimmed hedges, and instead there are 125 of varying size arranged informally amongst the trees, 93 with electricity. The terrain is as nature intended with very little grass and much of it steep and rugged.
London is home to eclectic mix of venues and has a long, vibrant and iconic musical history. Think of London and names such as David Bowie, Amy Winehouse, Adele, Queen, The Clash, Sir Elton John, Adam Ant, Coldplay, George Michael, The Rolling Stones, Blur, Paloma Faith, Fatboy Slim, Stormzy, Years & Years and Eurythmics come to mind.
But it's not just home to some of the world's biggest pop stars, the treasured Royal Albert Hall has seen countless classical names perform and annually hosts the BBC Proms. Its home to the Royal Academy of Music, founded in 1822, and the Royal College of Music, founded in 1882, which between them have an impressive alumni including Benjamin Britten, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Sir Elton John and Annie Lennox.
Campsites near London
Crystal Palace Caravan and Motorhome Club Site (7.1 miles from London) The Caravan and Motorhome Club site at Crystal Palace in south London provides easy access to the city centre and its many attractions. The pitches are pleasantly arranged in terraces adjacent to the ruins of the old Crystal Palace. It is surprisingly quiet given its location. As well as London itself, the campsite is ideally situated for annual events such as the Ideal Home Exhibition, the London to Brighton mini run, the London Marathon, the Chelsea Flower show, Wimbledon and of course Christmas and New Year events.
Lee Valley Camping and Caravan Park, Edmonton(10.4 miles from London) Certainly one of the only sites in this guide with a multiplex cinema just outside the gate, you are greeted here by a very attractive entrance with flower displays. The site offers 160 spacious level pitches, 44 with hardstanding. The pitches are well laid out around a large field and there is a tent area just behind two grassy mounds.
Highclere Farm Country Touring Park(25.2 miles from London) A magnificent sweeping drive provides the entrance to this peaceful park that backs onto fields and woodland. Originally developed around a working farm, the owners continue to keep chickens. There are 115 level pitches, 60 with gravel hardstanding. The atmosphere is friendly and informal, with reception doubling as a small shop supplying freshly laid eggs.
Although certainly not everyone's cup of tea, Berlin offers something different. A vibrant, hedonistic underground scene with exciting techno and house culture born from the nineties, a period of parties and boundless freedoms.
The heavy industry heritage of Berlin has influenced its hardcore music scene, with many of its most popular clubs located in former industrial buildings, perhaps giving it the well-earned grungy reputation for which it is known for.
Campsites near Berlin
Campingplatz Krossinsee (16.7 miles from Berlin) Am Krossinsee is an efficiently run site and a good base for visiting the capital of Germany. The Krossinsee itself is one of many clean lakes in the southeast of Berlin and is suitable for swimming, fishing and boating. There are 450 pitches of varying but reasonable size.
Camping Sanssouci(22.3 miles from Berlin) Sanssouci is a good base for visiting Potsdam and Berlin. It lies close to Sanssouci Park on the banks of the Templiner See, in a quiet woodland setting. It has a modern reception, shop, takeaway, restaurant and bar, and 240 pitches with tall trees marking out the pitches.
Amidst the forest and wetland area of Spreewald, only an hour's drive from Berlin, you will find EuroCamp Spreewaldtor. The campsite is directly located on the shore of the Gross Leuthen lake, in which you can take a dive from a jetty to have a refreshing swim. You can explore the lovely towns in the area, enjoy cycling trips and even take a boat cruise through the extensive Spreewald. The 130 touring pitches are spread over various fields. The campsite looks modern and well-maintained, with landscaped greenery.
Liverpool has had more chart topping musicians than any other city in the world, with 56 number one hit singles to date! In fact, it is recognised by Guinness World Records as the "World Capital City of Pop". Its musical heritage, alongside its industrial and maritime history, are the city's main attractions.
Cilla Black, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, The Spice Girls' Melanie C and Dead or Alive all hail from the city, but none have reached the dizzying heights of fame that The Beatles reached. Beatlemania spread across the city and the world in the 1960s, in what became known as the British Invasion.
You can explore the story of The Beatles at Liverpool's many museums and memories to the band including The Beatles Story, Liverpool Beatles Museum, British Music Experience and the childhood homes of John Lennon and Paul McCartney.
Campsites near Liverpool
Wirral Country Park Caravan and Motorhome Club Site (9.8 miles from Liverpool) Wirral is a peninsula of great natural beauty, and the Wirral Country Park Caravan and Motorhome Club site is set right in the midst of some of its loveliest landscapes with wonderful sea views. Located in a country park of 2,000 acres of unspoilt nature, the site is made up of several pitching areas attractively separated by trees and shrubs. Some pitches overlook the Dee Estuary, which is one of many ideal places for scenic walks. There are lots of lovely wooded areas on site and plenty of bird life to observe. The site has 74 hardstanding and 16 grass pitches.
Abbey Farm Caravan Park(14.3 miles from Liverpool) This quiet, well equipped, family park beside the Abbey ruins has views over open farmland. It is an ideal base for a longer stay with plenty of interest in the local area. The park is divided into small paddocks; one for tents, the other for touring units. The 60 touring pitches are on hardstanding, separated by small shrubs and colourful flower borders.
Nant Mill Touring Caravan Park(41.8 miles from Liverpool)
This traditional style, family-owned and run park of around seven acres, takes some 115 units arranged over four fields. There are some distant sea views to be had from many pitches. These are carefully allocated to ensure that the largest, central, sloping field is reserved for families. Two small paddocks on the other side are for couples who might prefer a quieter, more level location.
Memphis, Tennessee Resting place of the "King of Rock and Roll" Elvis Presley and career boosting city for musicians including Aretha Franklin, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, Otis Redding, Al Green and B.B. King.
Nashville, Tennessee Home of country music and home to music venues such as the Grand Ole Opry House, the Country Music Hall of Fame and the historic Ryman Auditorium.
Ben deals with all things design, working on the visual design of our annual guides, Destinations magazine, information leaflets, social media and email campaigns, and much more across the Alan Rogers, Rallies and Worldwide brands. He also produces written content for our blogs alongside our other contributors.
Largely self-taught, Ben studied Fashion Media at a university in London before realising graphic design was his calling and joined the Alan Rogers team in 2016. He is responsible for the design of all our Europe guides since 2018, Destinations magazines since 2020 and the ongoing development of our Worldwide business.