Become a Monet expert in London
What From multiple studies of Rouen cathedral to the Houses of Parliament bathed in fog, Monet and Architecture is Britain’s biggest Monet exhibition in 20 years and focuses on 75 of the French master’s architectural paintings.
Where The National Gallery, a short hop from Charing Cross Bridge, one of Monet’s subjects.
9 April – 29 July
Eat your delicious fill in Amsterdam
What Every May, food trucks of every conceivable shape and size converge in West Amsterdam, dishing up everything from burgers and Taiwanese steamed buns to tacos and vegan ice cream for the annual Rolling Kitchens Food Festival.
Where Westerpark, the stretch of green bordered by water and a former gasworks.
Enjoy a proper northern weekender in Manchester
What Local heroes (Noel Gallagher, Courteeners) dominate the line-up for the newly established Neighbourhood Weekender event.
Where Victoria Park in Warrington, the North West town, 20 minutes from Manchester city centre.
Swallow a dose of street art culture in Frankfurt
What Fresh from its hit run in London, Basquiat: Boom for Real, the landmark, multimedia tribute to the New York artist, brings graffiti, paintings, films, music and even an immersive club to Germany.
Where The modish, highly esteemed Schirn Kunsthalle.
Until 27 May
See the classics as they should be seen in Athens
What Athens & Epidaurus is a fittingly epic summer-long celebration of the performing arts with show-stopping theatre and dance performances amid crumbling, ancient amphitheatres.
Where A clutch of eye-catching venues in the Greek capital and a sister site in nearby Epidaurus.
1 June – 18 August
Join the design crowd in Madrid
What Bold architectural adornments – think, painted crates, gold foil, paper sculptures – and guerrilla antique markets are the main draw of Decoracción, a four-day celebration of design in the Spanish capital. Where An ever-growing number of streets in literary hub the Barrio de las Letras.
Visit a real cinema paradiso in Rome
What Not all open-air cinemas are created equal. The Isola Del Cinema summer screening series puts an eclectic programme (and original-language prints of films) under the Eternal City’s twinkling night skies.
Where On the tree-lined Isla Tiberina in the middle of the river Tiber.
Mid June – early September
See polo as it was meant to be played
One of the landmark events of the British summer season, wear a hat and head to Henley as British Polo Day kicks off – one of the best and most glamorous events of the season. You’ll find a who’s who of high society for this flagship event.
Expand your musical brain on Lake Geneva
What Record collection groaning with Davis, Baker and Coltrane? Then the Montreux Jazz Festival – 52 this year – is a must. But surprising big-name bookings – Alt-J and Grace Jones performed last year – cater to jazz novices, too.
Where Beside the glittering expanse of Lake Geneva.
29 June – 14 July
Dance all night in Serbia
What Exit is Serbia’s premier carnival of dance, rock and wee-hours hedonism. A newly opened Mama Shelter hotel in nearby Belgrade – Ottoman design touches, rooftop bar – seals the deal.
Where The cliff-hugging Petrovaradin Fortress in Novi Sad.
Get down with the indie crowd in Madrid
What Arctic Monkeys top a blockbuster bill (Massive Attack, Pearl Jam, Jack White, Dua Lipa) at Mad Cool, the capital’s upwardly mobile new kid on the festival block.
Where Having outgrown its original home at Caja Magica (and added two extra stages), Mad Cool has upped sticks for Valdebebas in the north of Madrid.
Don your Speedos in Paris
What Now in its 16th year, Paris Plages is a summer staple that sees waterside locations across the city transformed into pop-up beaches replete with deckchairs, imported sand, bars and boules.
Where La Villette Canal basin – complete with three public pools – and Parc Rives de Seine are the two main locations.
Mid July – early September
Take on the world’s largest arts fest in Edinburgh
What From backstreet theatre to late-night stand-up, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe is a unique arts fiesta that has to be experienced at least once.
Where All across the steep cobbled streets of the Scottish capital.