It’s a topic that divides the nation’s interest and, indeed, the interest of the Super Break HQ… It is of course, The Eurovision Song Contest! However, with its staggeringly cheesy performances, glitzy costumes, impressive stage designs and controversial undertones, we couldn’t think of anything more entertaining to watch on a Saturday night with friends. Here’s our Top 10 Eurovision Favourites and why the winning countries make for the perfect short break destination…
10. Bucks Fizz – UK – ‘Making Your Mind Up’
Despite our recent notoriety as frequent losers during the contests, it was difficult choosing between all of the fantastic winners that have been created by the UK Eurovision entries. In 1981, Bucks Fizz wowed audiences with their chirpy lyrics, uplifting melodies and, yes, those outfits. If you want to experience a truly British break away, try top UK destinations such as York, Edinburgh and Stratford-upon-Avon for their diverse mix of museums, eateries and attractions. London is a great choice for culture and theatre breaks too, of course.
9. Teach In – Netherlands – ‘Ding-a-dong’
Can anyone else remember these winners from 1975? No, we can’t either! Despite that, Teach In stormed the competition and beat the UK to the Eurovision title, making The Netherlands triumphant. Top destinations to visit in this beautiful country include Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Arnhem, for their great mix of culture, entertainment and history. For even more excitement on your next short break, check out our range of minicruises to Amsterdam, departing from Hull and Newcastle.
8. Emmelie de Forrest – Denmark – ‘Only Teardrops’
Denmark celebrated a landslide victory at the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest with their captivating entry ‘Only Teardrops’, sung by the equally captivating performer Emmelie de Forrest. Enjoy a trip to picturesque Copenhagen and learn more about its Viking history, beautiful castles and the stunning Amalienborg Royal Palace. Denmark was also home to the famous fairy-tale writer, H.C. Andersen.
7. Lena – Germany – ‘Satellite’
Lena experienced the sweet smell of success with her sassy 2010 Eurovision hit, ‘Satellite’. Easily one of our favourite winners, Lena went on to have a hugely lucrative international career as a pop singer. Germany, Lena’s home-country, is filled with great destinations for an exciting short break, including Berlin, Hamburg and Munich. Dusseldorf is also a popular choice for those who love boutique shopping and contemporary art.
6. ABBA – Sweden – ‘Waterloo’
Easily classed as one of the most famous bands to have come out of the contest, ABBA enjoyed years of success long after winning Eurovision in 1974 with their catchy song, ‘Waterloo’. Sweden continues to be a popular destination of choice for those who want to embrace the pure and natural beauty of the unspoilt lakes, mountains and forests found in the country. Top city breaks include Stockholm and Gothenburg, with their quaint villages and wide range of unique markets.
5. Alexander Rybak – Norway – ‘Fairytale’
Was he really playing the violin throughout the performance? Perhaps we’ll never know… However, Alexander Rybak still holds the title for the Eurovision winner with the most points, at a record-breaking 387! Travel to Rybak’s home country of Norway and experience the vast white beaches, variety of festivals and skiing hotspots, in popular cities such as Oslo and Bergen.
4. Dana – Ireland – ‘All Kinds of Everything’
Dana pipped the UK to the post with her hit song ‘All Kinds of Everything’ back in 1970, while she was still at school! Ireland has always been famous for its breath taking landscapes and vibrant city culture, making it a top country to visit for a fun short break. Dublin, Cork and Galway are definitely worth a visit for their variety of culture, history and vibrant nightlife.
3. Massiel – Spain – ‘La, la, la’
Massiel won Eurovision all the way back in 1968 with her fun song ‘La, la, la’, sparking controversy when she beat Cliff Richard’s hit ‘Congratulations’ to the top spot. The obvious destination of choice for Spain would be Barcelona, with its many art galleries, museums, beaches and nightlife options. For those who want to try alternative city breaks in Spain, I’d highly recommend Seville, Bilbao or Granada.
2. Lordi – Finland – ‘Hard Rock Hallelujah’
A close second on our list, Lordi shocked audiences at the 2006 contest with their scary masks, gothic costumes, pyrotechnics and euphoric lyrics (although the lead singer did wear a very cute miniature Finnish flag top hat). Visit Helsinki and enjoy a variety of annual cultural festivals, beautiful architecture and unique nightlife.
1. Conchita Wurst – Austria – ‘Rise Like a Phoenix’
The most well-known (and my most favourite) winner’s performance at the Eurovision Song Contest came in the form of Conchita Wurst, a bearded lady with a fantastic voice and an astounding dress collection. ‘Rise Like a Phoenix’ became an international anthem and celebrated the success of the supposed underdog of the competition. With its rich musical history, dazzling palaces and top destinations such as Vienna, Salzburg and Innsbruck, Austria wins our vote as the number one country to visit on a short break!