My husband and I were blessed to have the opportunity to go to Tomorrowland in Boom, Belgium this year. We bought our tickets the day they went on sale back in January (the festival normally sells out within 20 minutes) and were counting down the days to July. If you aren’t familiar with Tomorrowland, it’s one of the biggest Music Festivals in the world. Between the 2 weekends, over 750,000 people attend! It was truly an incredible experience and a trip of a lifetime.
It’s all DJ’s and Electronic Dance Music (EDM). To be perfectly honest, before the trip, EDM wasn’t my #1 choice of music genre (now I’m a huge fan and it’s practically all I listen to on Spotify) so my 2 prerequisites for going on the trip were A.) I wasn’t camping and wanted to do the hotel package — about 40,000 people that attend the festival camp out on site in Tomorrowland’s own little city called Dreamville — but let’s face it, I’m not a camper and sleeping in a tent in 90 degree weather in a foreign country in July didn’t sound like fun to me at the time and B.) I wanted to make it a European vacation and visit a few other cities besides just Brussels and Boom. So we decided to do the Bronze Hotel package and do the Discover Europe option where we got to select 2 other cities to visit in addition to Brussels. We chose Amsterdam and Barcelona (to be honest, Barcelona was a must on my list!)
We started out in Amsterdam and Tomorrowland really had their act together. We flew all night and arrived in Amsterdam at about 8am, checked into our hotel and since we needed to stay awake to avoid jet-lag we immediately started to see the sites. We walked around Downtown Amsterdam that morning, did a canal tour, went to the Holocaust Museum, went to the Amsterdam Zoo and then picked a spot in a hip area that one of our Uber Drivers recommended to eat dinner and watch the World Cup Finals Match. When France won the place went nuts! We were exhausted at the end of day one but we came back to the hotel, changed and went to a Welcome Event that Tomorrowland was hosting that evening. The event was super fun and we got to meet people doing the same Discover Europe Package and going to the festival from all over the world.
The next day in Amsterdam we did another canal tour that Tomorrowland had organized, did some shopping and went to the Heineken Experience. That night we did a Tomorrowland Bar Crawl that we had the option of purchasing tickets for in advance with more of the “People of Tomorrow”. It was so much fun and so great meeting all these new friends from all over the world also going to the festival.
The next day, we all got on a bus and drove 3.5 hours to Brussels for the festival that weekend. Being from Texas, a 3.5 hour drive is nothing and I usually don’t even stop to go to the bathroom on my way from Austin to Dallas but I guess in Europe 3.5 hours is a long drive because midway through the trip they stopped at a rest stop and fed us sandwiches and gave us a “break”.
When we got to Brussels I wanted to shower and change before my husband and I went out to explore Downtown a bit and have dinner. Just like Amsterdam (and most of Europe for that matter) the architecture in Brussels is exquisite. We had some really tasty Greek Food and then found a nice spot for Belgium Waffles for dessert.
The next day, Tomorrowland had organized a “Discover Belgium” day where they bussed us off to the city of Antwerp (about an hour from Brussels) full of fan activities and a scavenger hunt. They gave us all flags from our home countries and navigated us around the city doing different things before the party that night. We met some fellow Americans from Ohio that we hung out with for most of the day that were also doing the hotel package because at around 6pm everyone doing Discover Europe that was staying in Dreamville (i.e. camping) left on busses to go to Boom to set up their campsite.
THE NEXT DAY WAS FRIDAY AND DAY ONE OF TOMORROWLAND!
I could go on an on about the festival and how incredible each day was. The artists, the stages, the VIP lounge — (if you’re going to Tomorrowland I recommend getting the Full Madness Comfort Pass) it was worth it for the bathrooms, the free appetizers, and the drink/food lines were much shorter. They also had characters and ariel artists preforming in the VIP area. And if you brought your swimsuit they had hot tubs too!
We saw so many great performances over the 3 days of the festival. Armin van Buuren, Timmy Trumpet, Axwell & Ingrosso, Steve Aoki, Hardwell, Steve Angello… they were all amazing!! But probably the highlight of the festival for me was being 4 rows back from Martin Garrix at his private show for his label on Saturday night. We were so close and he’s one of Stephen and I’s favorite DJ’s.
After the festival was over we had a “Detox Day” at the Brussels Botanical Gardens that Tomorrowland organized for us. It included lots of salad, fruit & veggie juices, free massages and facials, relaxing on hammocks, a “make your own herbal tea” station and was an environment for general relaxation and R&R. This was much needed after the craziness of the 3 day festival.
That night, Stephen and I went into town to get some famous Belgium Chocolate (mmm… so good) to bring back home to friends and family as gifts and met one of his former work colleagues who lives in Brussels for dinner. Kristov has been to 10 Tomorrowland’s so we enjoyed reminiscing about the festival.
The next day we flew to Barcelona with the rest of the people from the Discover Europe trip that chose that as their final city. We had signed up for all of the optional activities in Barcelona so in addition to the exploration we did on our own around Barcelona we had a guided Bike Tour around the city, a Panoramic Picnic where we climbed to the top of this huge hill that overlooked the entire city, and another super fun bar crawl. We also got to go stick our toes in the Mediterranean while we were there, visit Sangrada Familia (huge famous church that’s been under construction for over 100 years) and eat some incredible paella. P.S. The sangria and paella in Barcelona are life changing.
So after 3.5 days in Barcelona we headed back home. Unfortunately the taxi drivers were on strike while we were there and there was no Uber so we had to haul all of our luggage (and we had a lot) through the trains and on public transportation to get to the airport. That was probably the only negative of the entire trip.
Overall we had an amazing time and I would recommend Tomorrowland and Discover Europe to anyone.
Who knows, maybe we’ll go again next year and Stephen might even convince me to camp in Dreamville this time!