Guest post by Dakota Murphey

Marking a wedding, significant birthday or any other milestone life event is the perfect excuse to create lasting memories by planning an unforgettable party. Whether you want to host a cool get-together in London or travel somewhere warmer in Europe, here are six inspiring destinations and places to stay to celebrate a special occasion.

1. London

London - destinations to celebrate

London is a world-class city offering incredible diversity if you’re searching for a great venue to bring close friends and family together in a part of the UK that is within easy reach. If you’re inviting friends from overseas, the exciting city offers a kaleidoscope of options. This is true for a significant birthday, to get people in one place for a major sporting event, or to invite friends to your ‘viewing party’ to watch the Oscars or the final episode of a favourite TV show.

If you are planning a wedding, an engagement party or something special, London is perfect if you want a cool party venue like a museum, art gallery or basement club. Alternatively, you might prefer a private room at one of London’s most luxurious hotels or a trendy boutique option. If you’re arranging a hen-do, why not cruise the River Thames draped in an ‘L Plate’ for a fun ride to your party venue? Likewise, if you’re planning a stag do, London’s famous beer bikes are a fun option to pedal past London’s best attractions and arrive at your party place in style. 

If you prefer something traditional and quintessentially English, Ascot’s Royal Enclosure provides a unique regal backdrop. Plus you might like your guests to wear traditional morning suits and elegant dresses. St Paul’s Cathedral and Westminster Abbey are magnificent historic venues for weddings. Meanwhile, for your non-religious wedding or civil partnership, the Fitzrovia Chapel. If it’s a slice of splendour and luxury, the capital’s five-star hotels have a huge range of stunning private rooms, so check out the upmarket Claridge’s, The Savoy and The Dorchester for your lavish reception or party venues. Outdoor celebrations can be held in iconic Hyde Park or by the Thames at a riverside pub.

2. Barcelona

Barcelona - destinations to celebrate

Europe offers many dream wedding destinations and Barcelona is another fantastic choice for a romantic getaway to mark an engagement or anniversary. If you are planning a large party it’s also ideal for a fun and interesting family celebration thanks to its attractions and city-seaside combination. In recent years, the city has become well known for its lively nightlife with some of the best bars, clubs and party boats in Spain. 

Barcelona’s luxury hotels and rooftop venues provide a range of perfect outdoor party settings. Las Ramblas is a must-see part with street performers and great dining options, while its Gothic Quarter is a labyrinthine network of welcoming local bars, and Irish and British pubs.

Barcelona is, therefore, a fabulous choice thanks to its unique fusion of history, art and culture – not to mention incredible traditional food. Gaudi’s distinct influence is evident in the city’s architecture and inspired Spain’s entire Art Nouveau movement. Once here, celebrate with an authentic touch of Catalan culture, paella, cava and flamenco dancing.

3. Marbella

Marbella - destinations to celebrate

Nestled in Spain’s ever-popular Costa del Sol, Marbella is a magical sunny option for every event if you’d prefer to travel somewhere hotter with friends, family or as a couple. If you are planning a wedding, this stunning coastal stretch has plenty of opulent private villas to choose from. For smaller group celebrations and romantic getaways, there are lots of pretty venues with panoramic sea views and inviting pools, so you might like to host an unforgettable sunset party. 

Located on Spain’s Costa del Sol (aka the ‘Coast of the Sun’), Marbella is next to the charming hilltop village of Frigiliana and the ever-popular seaside town of Nerja. Together, these thriving spots offer superb dining-out options, boutique shops and great entertainment on nights out. Therefore, for your celebrations, this region has it all with its luxury villas near relaxing beaches, adventurous water sports and historic sites for your more active guests to explore. For a trendier vibe, Nikki Beach Marbella is world-famous for its live music with some of Europe’s best-known DJs creating a party atmosphere like no other.

4. Paris

Paris - destinations to celebrate

For an intimate couple’s celebration, Paris or the city of love is an obvious choice. If you are looking for a great place to stay, you’ll be spoiled as the picturesque French capital oozes romance by the River Seine and is the beating heart of this historic city. Paris’ Pont des Arts is an institution with lovers from across the world coming to attach padlocks, symbols of their love, to the bridge’s metal railings. 

The Eiffel Tower Observation Deck is an amazing place to celebrate a wedding, new engagement or big birthday with memorable views for enviable photos. Look out for grand Parisian architecture too, such as the Louvre Museum, Opéra Garnier and the Hôtel de Ville which all make lavish backdrops. For partygoers, this beautiful capital has an exciting night scene thanks to its Michelin-starred restaurants, sophisticated cocktail bars and in-vogue nightclubs.

5. Nice

Nice - destinations to celebrate

Beyond Paris, the glamourous South of France is well known for its wealthy visitors and upmarket party scene. It is therefore a cool destination to mark any special occasions. The French Riviera is popular with honeymooners and anyone who wants to celebrate an occasion with a perfect blend of culture, history, delicious food and sunshine. Nice enjoys beautiful Mediterranean skies and the winding cobblestone lanes of its picturesque Old Town are a joy to meander through. 

Treat yourself to a croissant and coffee and people watch or enjoy a relaxing post-party stroll along the Promenade des Anglais by the Baie des Anges. This is perhaps the city’s most visited area and any venue near here is a glamorous one. Choose from a fantastique selection of chic beach clubs and belle bohemian hotels or organise a yacht charter for a luxury touch to any celebrations. Castle Hill is an idyllic elevated perch for Insta-amazing images to remember your trip and toast your celebration.

6. Venice

Venice - destinations to celebrate

Venice is unparalleled when it comes to scenic beauty thanks to its unique waterways that snake through this stunning city in a maze of canals between ornate palazzi. If you are a couple who are recently engaged or a group exploring the city while celebrating someone’s big birthday, Venice has many gorgeous bars to make one of many toasts. If you have picked your own private place to party in, it is only fitting to arrive the only way you can in Venice – on one of the city’s chauffeured gondolas. You can even say ‘I do’ on a secluded side canal or on board a classic Riva speedboat for an unforgettable proposal experience. 

With its picturesque beauty and so many museums, monuments and winding streets to explore, and despite the waterways, a walking tour of Venice is highly recommended. Ensure you tick off the Bridge of Sighs for pictures, pop inside a palazzo hotel and look for the artistic frescos, rooftop views, and Murano glass chandeliers if you do go inside Venice’s grandest old buildings. 

If you are getting married, reuniting with old friends or organising an unrivalled party to mark your major milestone, there are plenty of incredible venues in unbeatable settings across Europe. Whether you’d prefer a lively city, historic retreat or landmark destination, there are special destinations to celebrate in with your nearest and dearest.


Ready to get your 2024 party planning started? At Oliver’s Travels, we have a huge selection of stunning villas, chateaux and spacious manors, wow-factor holiday homes and party houses in a variety of destinations to celebrate a milestone event, from large groups and weddings to special family occasions.


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