Eurovision is back! And this time it is being held on the golden shores of Tel Aviv, and what better way to celebrate the contest than to honour the countries that have hosted (and won!) the biggest song contest in the world?
What is the Eurovision Song Contest?
The Eurovision Song Contest takes place every year in a different host country to celebrate international music. Each country that participates submits an original song that is played on the radio and culminates in a live performance on TV, where you can vote for your favourite song.
Who competes in the Eurovision Song Contest?
Originally, only European countries participated (hence the name), back when the first contest aired in 1956. However, since then, the competition has blown wide open, with countries like Azerbaijan, and of course, Australia!
When did Australia enter Eurovision?
Since 2015 we’ve been inducted into this festival of joy, and we want to take home the gold – imagine it: Eurovision Australia 2020!
But we may be getting ahead of ourselves, in the meantime we have to scope out the competition, learn from our peers, and of course, go on lots of holidays.
1. Tel Aviv, Israel
Eurovision Winners 2018: “Toy”, Nelta, Israel
This year the Eurovision competition is being held in Israel and its lively city of Tel Aviv. Israel was last year’s winner, so the crown (and hosting baton) was passed to them. If you’ve never been before, you’re in for a treat, as this city is home to historic bazaars, lovely beaches, and excellent museums.
Relax on Gordon and Banana Beaches, tour Old Jaffa Port, stroll through the Neve Tzedek Quarter, and duck into attractions like the Tel Aviv Museum of Art and the Beit Hatefutsoth (the Diaspora Museum).Book flights to Tel Aviv
2. Vienna, Austria
Eurovision Winners 2014: “Rise Like a Phoenix”, Conchita Wurst, Austria
One of the most heartwarming wins in the history of the competition was when Conchita Wurst, a drag queen from Austria, won for “Rise Like a Phoenix”. But since Austria was the inspiration for The Sound of Music, we should’ve known Austria would always be a tough contender.
Visit Vienna, and see its magnificent attractions, like the Hofburg Palace, the Spanish Riding School, and of course, the Vienna State Opera House. If you fancy a more outdoorsy experience, fly to Salzburg for its fortress and musical roots, or go to the UNESCO-listed Hallstatt – quite possibly the prettiest town in Europe.Book flights to Vienna
3. Oslo, Norway
Eurovision Winners 2009: “Fairytale”, Alexander Rybak, Norway
In 2009, a 23 year old violinist and singer from Norway stormed the stage and won the competition by a staggering 387 points! Norway sailed all the way home with the prize, and a promise to host in Oslo the following year.
And what a host city! Combining sophistication with incredible heritage attractions, and the kind of Scandi-cool you can only find in Northern Europe, this is a fantastic holiday destination. Visit the impressive Akerhus Fortress, the Viking Ship Museum, and the Royal Palace to get a feel for this great city.Book flights to Oslo
4. Dublin, Ireland
Eurovision Winners 1994: Rock ‘n’ Roll Kids, Paul Harrington and Charlie McGettigan
Ireland is sitting pretty, as it has won an impressive seven times, more than any other country! This entry was its 6th time winning, with a hefty 226 points all in. It’d be worth looking to book flights to Dublin now, since they always seem to be winning.
Flying to Ireland would be no hardship though; within Dublin there is plenty to see, from Trinity College, to Dublin Castle, and the National Gallery, this city is brimming with historical attractions. There are also fun must-do activities when in Dublin like a visit to the Guinness Factory and a nightlife tour of Temple Bar.Book flights to Dublin
5. Lausanne, Switzerland
Eurovision Winners 1988: “Ne partez pas sans moi”, Celine Dion
Yes! That Celine Dion! Back in 1988 she represented Switzerland (despite being from Canada) and led them to victory with “Ne partez pas sans moi”. It’s hard to believe anyone would’ve beaten Celine Dion, unless they were prepared to hold one note for 2 hours straight.
The next year, the competition was held in magical Lausanne. Nestled against the banks of Lake Geneva and sheltered by the snow-capped Alps, this fairytale city is a joy to tour. Go to the Olympic Museum, stroll to the Château d’Ouchy and Promenade, and revel in the stunning scenery.Book flights to Geneva
6. London, UK
Eurovision Winners 1976: “Save Your Kisses For Me”, Brotherhood of Man
This was a huge hit in the UK and in the USA, it even made our charts for a little while, so it definitely deserves a place on our list. What’s more, is the host city was London, and it’s a hard draw to beat when trying to book a holiday.
History lovers can tour the gruesome halls of the Tower of London, book addicts can go on a Harry Potter Studio Tour, theatre buffs to the West End of Shakespeare’s Globe, and culture vultures can duck into the V&A, the British Museum and the Tate. It’s all at your fingertips in London.Book flights to London
7. Stockholm, Sweden
Eurovision Winners 1974: “Waterloo”, ABBA, Sweden
We couldn’t very well make this list and leave off ABBA. Off the back of “Waterloo”, ABBA became a worldwide disco sensation, and went on to produce some of the most feel-good hits of the next decade (including some tearjerkers).
Hailing from the trendy city of Stockholm, you can indulge in your love of ABBA, and European culture all in one place. Explore the Old Town (Gamla Stan), and see Stockholm Cathedral and the Royal Palace. Go to the Vasa Museum for a window into the past, and head out on a boat tour to truly experience the ‘Venice of the North’.Book flights to Stockholm