Ellie Goulding - Delirium World Tour - Live concert in Milan

A Quick Guide To Concert Travel

My travel bug and my love for music have coexisted since forever. After all, my first trip was when I was only 10 months old and Zombie by The Cranberries was my jam when I was five. However, my passion for live concerts was a late bloomer and started when I saw Mr Bryan Adams live (from far far away, “heard him” is a more accurate description). Fast forward two years later when I attended my first concert abroad, due to a freak coincidence in Barcelona. That’s when I discovered how much fun concert travel can be. Since then, I attended several concerts abroad and found it’s actually quite easy to combine a trip with a concert, so I’d like to give you some tips if you’re planning to get your groove on next time you travel.

Step 1: Figure out the best country for you

Amy Macdonald concert in Barcelona
Amy Macdonald, Barcelona (my first show abroad!)

Whenever I decide I want to see an artist, I go to their Facebook page and see where they are playing. I usually want the concert to be during or closer to a weekend, so I won’t have to take too many days off work. Then I pick the places I can easily get to (direct low cost flights, the perk of living in Europe) and figure out which one would be the cheapest. You could go to a city you’ve been before and have the advantage of knowing how to get around or make it more exciting and visit a new place altogether. I’ve done both last month, but I can’t say for sure which one I’ve preferred, both turned out great.

Tip: even if you’ve booked a trip already, that doesn’t mean you can’t go to a great concert. I should know, I went to two concerts I didn’t know about when I made the booking. I use SongKick to find out if there are any concerts when I’ll be visiting a certain city.

Step 2: Book the concert tickets

Katy Perry Concert On Wembley Arena, London
A fun night with Katy Perry on Wembley Arena in London

Once you’ve decided on a country and artist, it’s time to book the tickets before they’re gone. Every artist has a Facebook page or a website with each event and a link to buy tickets from the official vendor. Always buy tickets from those sites and not some third party ones that may or may not be genuine. And you should get them as soon as you can because concerts are often sold out. Take it from the guy who once paid on Ebay almost double the price for a concert in London. Lesson learned! (I won’t tell you that until we got inside the venue we worried the tickets would be fake ๐Ÿ˜› ).

Step 3: Choose accommodation wisely

Paramore live in Portugal at Optimus Alive
A crazy night with Paramore at Optimus Alive festival (currently Nos Alive) in Portugal

Usually a concert would end sometime between 10 PM to midnight so it’s a good idea to plan in advance how you’re going to get back to the hotel. For my last two concerts, I saw the subway runs until late at night so I picked a hotel on the same subway line as the venue. However, I also considered booking a hotel closer to the venue so I could walk when it ended. Luckily, this wasn’t necessary. This time!

Step 4: Check out the rules of the venue

The Cranberries concert in Romania
The Cranberries, Romania

Every venue and every country has different rules so it’s best to check them beforehand. I usually find Facebook events for the concerts and subscribe so I know when they open the doors and what I can or can’t have with me. This is also a good idea if you’re going alone and want to find a buddy.

Step 5: Go have fun!

I used to be paranoid about taking my camera with me, since I had a larger point and shoot (that now looks tiny compared to my DSLR) but nowadays I take a few snaps with my phone to remember the night and just enjoy the show. I must be getting old since I don’t spend the whole time Snapchatting the concert ๐Ÿ˜† .

Have you ever attended a concert abroad? How was it?

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  • Great tips Vlad!!! I love going to concerts in another city, this year I am going to Coldplay in Berlin and I’m freaking excited, not only because I’m crazy about them but also because last time I went to their concert was in Prague and I loved it!! I will think of your tips when I’m planning the trip ๐Ÿ˜€

    • Thank you, hope you’ll have a great time at the concert! ๐Ÿ˜€ I’ll probably visit Berlin this year as well! ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Jim Vail

    Some awesome advice Vlad! Do you find much different in price among the different cities where you’ve been to concerts? Is it cheaper in Romania then in Barcelona? Just wondering.

    • Usually it is cheaper in Romania, but of course there are some exceptions, depending on the band and who is organizing the show (I once found concert tickets in Paris to be cheaper than in Bucharest for the same show). But the advantage is that I get to see some bands that have never played in Romania.

  • Arzo Travels

    Will be at the Adele concert in Cologne in Ma but haven’t done any planning. Most important thing: Have fun ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Oooh, lucky! I was on the waiting list for Adele for several cities (Cologne was my top choice actually) but they sold out quickly ๐Ÿ™ Hope you’ll have a great time!

  • Amanda Williams

    I hadn’t really considered this as a type of travel – another great excuse for a trip added to the list ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you.

    • You’re welcome, glad you liked the post! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • I am after concerts too when I travel, Vlad. I sometimes book tickets from the States, to make sure they are not sold out. I particularly love to go to the Opera when I travel to Europe, because in the USA the tickets cost an arm and a leg. Great advice for concert travel!

    • Thanks, Anda! I’ve only been to the Opera a few times and only here in Bucharest and I found the tickets incredibly cheap! That is, when they are not sold out (I’ve been hunting for The Phantom Of The Opera tickets for weeks without any success…)

  • Its great that you have a passion for your music that allows you to travel around as well. What more could you want than great music and great cities that compliment each other. Hoping to catch some concerts oversea’s when we stop dragging our kids around with us

    • Maybe you can take them when they grow up a bit, on my last concert I took my 14 year old cousin with me and he had a great time, it was his first big concert. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Lyn – A Hole in my Shoe

    Great tips Vlad. We are great fans of music and always try and include a concert, theatre or ballet in our travels. Choosing accommodation wisely can safe some angst.

    • Definitely, it’s so relaxing to know you can just take the subway after the concert to get to the hotel and not having to worry about finding a taxi.

  • Vlad, you rock, and no pun intended. It never occurred to me to plan my travel around music, but that sounds like a fine way to go. Your tips are super useful.

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