Given the diversity of the continent, it will come as little surprise that there is a breadth and diversity amongst the festivals in Europe celebrated each year. Some of our European Festivals are world-renowned, but others featured in our pages, such as the White Nights Festival in St Petersburg and the Dour Festival in Belgium might need an introduction.
Each summer, the whole continent seems to explode into a festival of music, with everyone taking to the outdoors to enjoy the music. One of the largest and most popular European music festivals is the Sziget Festival in Hungary, held each August. Other events include Tomorrowland Europe, Pukkelpop in Belgium and Zurich Tanzt, a celebration of music and dance. If you are a fan of jazz, then Jazz Brugge or Vinterjazz in Copenhagen could be just the ticket for you. Or, why not try the Tallinn Music Week in Estonia?
If you wish to want to avoid the crowds at Oktoberfest then perhaps you should head to Belgium for either the Bruges Beer Festival or Zythos Bier Festival. Wine lovers looking for something a bit different could try the National Wine Day Moldova in the capital city of Chisinau, or for a food festival with a twist then how about the Onion Market in Weimar, in Germany, or Spain’s Gran Festa de la Calçotada, if spring onions are your thing.
While you might be forgiven for associating the carnival with South America, Europe has many a carnival that predates Rio. One of the oldest is the Venice Carnival, although the Nice Carnival and Cologne Carnival (Fastelovend) are also well worth a visit. Or if you like your carnival descending into a historical food fight then the Battle of Oranges in Italy is a must. Alternatively, try the typically Belgium quirky Carnaval de Binche.
In the build up to Christmas, most of Europe is a frenzy of Christmas Markets and Winter Festivals. Salzburg Christmas Market provides a typically Austrian take on the festive occasion, while Dresden Christmas Market and Vienna Christmas Market are equally steeped in tradition. Alternatively, if you are not in a festive mood then you can always visit the Amsterdam Lights and watch the capital of the Netherlands major winter festival turn the city on.
And don’t worry, we haven’t forgotten that the UK is part of Europe, as we have a separate page for Festivals in the UK.
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