What: Typo: Beyond Design
When: May 12-14
Why: Europe’s biggest design conference draws about 1,500 creatives from around the world and features more than 60 experts in the field. Graphic designer (and former David Bowie collaborator) Jonathan Barnbrook and typeface master Tobias Frere-Jones will be among the speakers.
Where to escape: The Bauhaus Archive (starting at $8; bauhaus.de), housing murals, photography, and furniture, features artists Marcel Breuer and Wassily Kandinsky, among others. Outside the museum is Tiergarten Park, one of the city’s greenest spaces. Stroll down the Hofjägerallee until you hit the Victory Column (commemorating the Danish-Prussian War), then head to the west side of the park to grab a weissbier at beer garden Café am Neuen See (cafeamneuensee.de).
When: June 13-16
From $390; startupfestival.com
Why: Network with other pre- and post-pivot entrepreneurs, schmooze with potential investors, and get advice from speakers including Yelena Rachitsky, creative producer and head of education at Oculus Story Studio, the film and game division of Oculus VR.
Where to escape: Mile-Ex is the city’s newest cool neighborhood. Spiff up between sessions with a haircut at Emporium Barbershop (cuts start at $12; emporiumbarber.com), where you’ll be surrounded by vintage swivel chairs and Montreal-made products such as Groom Industries’ pine-scented beard oil. Dine with locals at Mile-Ex (mileex.ca), where innovative seafood—try the squid roll merguez with citrus confit on a brioche bun ($10)—is served underneath paintings by artist Patrick Charbonneau.
What: The Europas
When: June 14
From $675; theeuropas.com
Why: European and American angel investors, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, and sponsors such as Y Combinator, IBM, and Twitter gather here to hand out awards for best e-commerce startup, best startup accelerator, and other categories.
Where to escape: Check out Broadway Market in the heart of the hip Hackney neighborhood, known for its sprawling food stands and vintage vendors. Pop into Donlon Books (donlonbooks.com) to check out obscure art books and independent magazines. When you get hungry—if you haven’t already nibbled on Chez Panisse-trained Claire Ptak’s cupcakes at Violet Cakes (violetcakes.com)—the can’t-miss restaurant of the moment is Bistrotheque, featuring modern fare like a caramelized tomato tart with rocket and burrata ($17).
What: Cannes Lions
When: June 18-25
From $1,690; canneslions.com
Why: The festival honors the best in international advertising. Even if you’re not nominated, be inspired by the work up for awards or the speakers, who this year include Burberry’s Christopher Bailey, chef Anthony Bourdain, and Airbnb Chief Executive Officer Brian Chesky.
Where to escape: The event is hosted on the glamorous Boulevard de la Croisette (think the Champs-Elysées with Mediterranean views), but you’re in the South of France in the summer, so—duh—hit the beach. Plage Croisette Beach (65 Boulevard de la Croisette) has the famed clear water and white sands of the Riviera. And when you’ve had enough sea air, stroll over to Marché Forville (5-11 Rue de Marché Forville) for fresh farmers market fruit and cheeses.