Open air Europe

While Europe’s history and culture is another reason to travel the continent, if you can experience this whilst staying outside and enjoying the foreign environment, all the better. Here we round up some of the best open air experiences to be had in Europe so that you can enjoy a summer river cruise holiday at its very best – in the open air!

The museum

One of the best aspects of visiting European countries is the varying culture and history that can be discovered. Their museums help to offer a real insight into the areas people visit so they can understand the country’s history and various other cultural elements. An open air museum offers all this whilst making the setting a part of what the visitor is learning and experiencing.

The Schwarzwälder Freilichtmuseum Vogtsbauernhof, or the Black Forest Open Air Museum, is one such museum that uses the open air element to compliment the museum’s purpose. Here they provide further information on their offering.

“Founded 50 years ago as a museum of Black Forest architecture, today the Open Air Museum Vogtsbauernhof in Gutach appeals to all our senses to impart how people used to live and work in the Black Forest. The tour around the museum shows the different regions of this mountain range: from the Hotzenwald and the Dreisam Valley via the Schauinsland to the day labourer’s cottage from Oberprechtal, the ‘heathen house’ from Furtwangen and, finally, the mighty farmhouses from the Valleys of Gutach and Kinzig.

“Those expecting to merely see old houses in the Open Air Museum Vogtsbauernhof are in for a surprise: you will find domestic animals of old breeds in the stalls, goats and sheep grazing in the meadows, and the black kitchens still smell of the last fire’s smoke.”

The gallery

The Kröller-Müller Museum of the Netherlands is another open air museum example, but rather than focusing on the history of the surrounding area it instead uses its garden to showcase some amazing works of art. The museum stands as the life work of Helene Kröller-Müller, who, together with her husband Anton, acquired close to 11,500 works of art between the years of 1907 and 1922. This makes the selection one of the largest privately owned collections of the 20th century.

Further to this, the museum house’s garden was turned into a sculpture garden by Professor Jan Bijhouwer in 1961 and features renowned works by the likes of Auguste Rodin, Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth, making it one of the largest of its kind in Europe.

If that weren’t enough, the museum also houses the second largest collection of works by Vincent Van Gogh in the world. Here they describe their latest collection ‘Van Gogh & Co. Criss-crossing the collection’.

“This year it is exactly 125 years since the death of Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890). This fact will be marked in 2015 with a year of exhibitions and activities at various locations in the Netherlands, Belgium and France. The theme is 125 years of inspiration. In the Van Gogh Year 2015, the Kröller-Müller Museum presents the exhibition Van Gogh & Co. Criss-crossing the collection.”

The theatre

Managed by the Parks and Gardens Department of the City of Paris, Le Théâtre de verdure du Jardin Shakespeare is regarded as one of the most beautiful outdoor theatres in the world. Located in the large national park of Bois de Boulogne in France, the theatre hosts regular performances throughout the summer, and some performances are even acted out in English, as with The Tower Theatre, from London, and their performance of King Lear in June this year.

The festival

If you prefer film to a live theatre performance, there is still an opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors during your escorted Danube river cruise. The Film Festival on Vienna’s City Hall Square the Rathausplatz was enjoyed by over 665,000 visitors last year from Austria and beyond, and is expected to attract as many, if not more, this year. The event takes place every summer for a period of two months and showcases the best films covering a range of genres, including opera, ballet, classical music, pop concerts and musicals, among others. The event is free to attend and runs daily from 11 am until midnight, with a wide range of international food and drink also on offer.

These are just a few of the amazing open air experiences to be had during a river cruise through Europe, not mentioning the great Thermal Spas and numerous other attractions that make the most of the beautiful European landscape.

Image Credit: David Huang (

This content was written by Angela Sloan. Please feel free to visit my Google+ Profile to read more stories.