Last Updated on May 24, 2023 by Jella Erhard
Explore the best festivals in Europe from the biggest summer festivals, and magical winter festivals, to popular music festivals, Easter festivals, and traditional cultural festivals. Learn about the must-visit Spring, Summer, Fall & winter festivals in Europe where you’ll have an unforgettable time.
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Best Spring, Summer, Fall, & Winter Festivals In Europe
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Not sure which European festivals to visit but you’re sure you want to go somewhere epic and experience something you’ll never forget? Then you’re at the right place because you’ll find here the most iconic and beautiful traditional festivals Europe has to offer.
You can even travel around Europe and experience the continent’s four seasons and many holidays while attending its epic music festivals with friends or going to bewitching winter festivals and cultural festivals with your family. However, thanks to considerate festival organizers all these brilliant and fun European festivals are also safe to attend alone; naturally, preparation is always advised especially when traveling solo.
However, solo and family travelers can explore some of the most breathtaking European countries including Italy, France, Greece, and Spain while also learning about its traditions and culture in an immersive and highly entertaining way.
These are also some of the most unique festivals in Europe where visitors can not only listen to great music or see some dazzling art but actually be a part of the event by dressing up during festivals like the beguiling Venice Carnival or experience Cappadocia from a bird’s eye view while enjoying a beautiful hot air balloon ride.
No matter if you like loud and adrenalin-high festivals or looking for more creative and arts-filled festivals because you’ll surely find a perfect match here.
Best Spring Festivals In Europe
St. Patrick’s Day Festival – Dublin, Ireland
One of the most colorful traditional festivals in Europe is no doubt Dublin’s St Patrick’s Festival. This now iconic cultural and religious celebration is held on 17 March and while it’s celebrated all over the world the biggest and most fun festival still takes place in Ireland’s capital.
Festival visitors will be able to experience an epic party and find all kinds of activities that range from classically artistic to eccentric. It’s one of the most family-friendly festivals in Europe during which adults and kids can enjoy a fun atmosphere and an unforgettable festival filled with great music, delicious food fairs, stunning exhibitions, and of course Céilí Mór.
Céilí Mór is one of the must-see things during a St. Patrick’s festival during which visitors can not only learn more about traditional Irish dance, language, and music but can participate themselves if they wish.
Where to stay in Dublin, Ireland during St. Patrick’s Day:
- Temple Bar Inn – Check Prices & Availability
Drury Court Hotel – Check Prices & Availability
- Hyatt Centric The Liberties Dublin – Check Prices & Availability
Prague Spring Festival – Czech Republic
The Prague Spring festival is the event you want to go to if you love classical music. During this time you can not only explore this historic bohemian city and enjoy its beautiful gothic architecture but can also attend Europe’s best classical music festival.
During the Prague Spring some of the most amazing symphony orchestras and chamber music ensembles from around the world. This festival is also a perfect choice who don’t know a lot about classical music but would love to learn more and do it while also enjoying some of Prague’s most breathtaking concert halls, theatres, museums, churches, and parks.
It’s also one of the best times to explore Prague since the Prague Spring festival three weeks in May and June every year when the weather is delightfully warm.
Where to stay in Prague during Prague Spring Festival:
- Hotel CUBE Prague – Check Prices & Availability
- Hotel Garden Court- Check Prices & Availability
- The Julius Prague – Check Prices & Availability
Oslo Medieval Festival – Norway
Oslo’s medieval festival is held in May and is one of the best medieval festivals in Europe. Visitors can not only enjoy theatre performances, but can also try crafting, and watch knights at the Akershus Fortress. It’s one of the most atmospheric European festivals that’s a whole lot of fun for adults and kids alike especially if you decide to dress up in historically accurate costumes.
Festival visitors get to travel back in time and learn about what life was like in the 1300s while enjoying fun contests, music, and mouthwatering dishes.
Where to stay in Oslo during Oslo Medieval Festival:
- Clarion Hotel Oslo – Check Prices & Availability
- Citybox Oslo – Check Prices & Availability
- Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel, Oslo – Check Prices & Availability
Holloko Easter Festival – Hungary
Holloko’s Easter festival is one of the most fun and unique festivals in Europe. The whole village of Holloko is also a UNESCO World Heritage site village with traditional Hungarian buildings where visitors can not only explore museums, and traditional restaurants but can also stay overnight in one of these beautiful houses.
The Holloko Easter festival is held in April and visitors can learn about some of the most traditional dances, songs, and dresses of Hungary while also enjoying delicious traditional dishes. It’s also a great place to learn about easter egg painting which is a whole lot of fun for kids too. Don’t worry you only have to try ‘locsolkodás’ ( a fun traditional Easter activity that involves men drenching women with buckets of water) if you’re up for it.
Where to stay in Holloko during Holloko Easter Festival:
- Castellum Hotel Hollókő – Check Prices & Availability
- Hollóköves Vendégházak- Check Prices & Availability
The Festival Of Fire AKA Fallas of Valencia Festival – Spain
Valencia’s most vivid and fun festival is no doubt the vibrant Fallas of Valencia Festival that takes place in March. It’s one of the best places to see some great and very unique art and learn about Spain’s history while enjoying a music and dance-filled festival that combines tradition, satire, and art.
This stunning European festival is also perfect for families, since thanks to the gigantic and colorful explosions and parades all around Valencia. The festival of Valencia is famously one of the loudest festivals in Europe during which visitors can also dress up or just enjoy the thousands of sparkly and bright traditional costumes and fireworks.
Where to stay in Valencia during The Festival of Valencia festivals:
- Hotel Valencia Center- Check Prices & Availability
- Venecia Plaza Centro – Check Prices & Availability
- Hotel Plaza Mercado & Spa – Check Prices & Availability
Best Summer Festivals In Europe
Bregenz Festival ‘Opera on the Lake’ – Austria
Even if you’re not particularly into opera the Bregenz festival is a must-visit. This unique opera festival is held every year in July and August and they always create an unforgattable and one-of-a-kind stage as they did for the ‘A Masked Ball’ by Giuseppe Verde in 1999 when the stage was a giant book that was being read by a skeleton.
However, since then they created many other amazing stages on Bergenz’s famous lake.
Where to stay in Bregenz during the Bregenz Festival:
- Grand Hotel Bregenz – Check Prices & Availability
- Hotel Messmer – Check Prices & Availability
- Hotel Weißes Kreuz – Check Prices & Availability
Isola del Cinema Festival – Rome, Italy
Rome’s beloved Isola del Cinema festival by the charming Tiber river returns every year for the summer from June. It’s one of the best summer festivals for movie lovers of all ages during which you can re-watch your favorite films in a truly atmospheric and unique environment.
Where to stay in Rome during the Isola del Cinema festival:
- Maalot Roma – Check Prices & Availability
- Hotel Boutique Nazionale – Check Prices & Availability
- Navona Queen Rooftop – Check Prices & Availability
Cappadocia Balloon Festival – Turkey
While you can ride one of the beautiful hot air balloons of Cappadocia pretty much all year round, the Cappadocia Balloon festival is still one of the best times you should visit this iconic Turkish destination. It’s one of the best summer festivals in Europe for honeymooners and couples who want to experience an unforgettable and romantic European festival where they could even pop the big question.
The Cappadocia Balloon festival is held every year during the summer in July.
Where to stay in Cappadocia during the Cappadocia Balloon Festival:
- Cappadocia Balloon Festival – Check Prices & Availability
- Grand Elite Cave Suites – Check Prices & Availability
- Artemis Cave Suites & Spa – Adults Only – Check Prices & Availability
Edinburgh Fringe Festival – Scotland
Edinburgh’s iconic Fringe festival is the largest arts festival in the world and is a thoroughly entertaining European art festival for adults and kids alike. During this time art lovers of all ages can explore unique art performances of all types not only in theatres but also during art shows and musical performances of all types all around the beautiful Edinburgh streets and parks.
The Edinburgh Fringe festival is held every year during the summer in August and festival visitors can choose from over 10k art performances.
Where to stay in Edinburgh during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Festival:
- The Witchery by the Castle – Check Prices & Availability
- YOTEL Edinburgh – Check Prices & Availability
- Native Edinburgh – Check Prices & Availability
Jewish Culture Festival – Krakow, Poland
The Jewish Culture Festival is a cultural event organized in Cracow. It has been held continuously since 1988 and its main goal is to popularize Jewish culture. Each year the festival brings together about 30,000 participants and more than 200 events. These include concerts, lectures, happenings, or workshops.
The most popular event of the Festival is the “Shalom on Szeroka street” concert. It is a several-hour session with Jewish music from around the world. As of today, the Jewish Culture Festival is one of the largest Polish cultural events around the world. It has also been broadcast live on the Internet for more than 10 years.
Where to stay in Krakow during the Jewish Culture Festival:
- Sky Hotel Krakow – Check Prices & Availability
- AC Hotel by Marriott Krakow – Check Prices & Availability
- DoubleTree by Hilton – Check Prices & Availability
Athens & Epidaurus Festival – Greece
Do you want to spend some quality time in Greece this summer but also want to experience one of the most unique festivals in Europe? Then don’t miss the stunning Athens & Epidaurus festival that takes place from May to October.
It’s also Greece’s largest and most impressive festival during which visitors can not only enjoy great musical and theatrical performances but learn about Greek culture and traditions and of course, try some mouthwatering Greek dishes as well.
One of the best things about Athens & Epidaurus festival and why it’s also one of the most famous European festivals is because visitors can enjoy many of the plays in the ancient theatre called Epidaurus which is a 4th century BCE and the theatre itself part of the sanctuary dedicated to the ancient Greek God of medicine, Asclepius. If you love arts and theatre then this is one European festival you don’t want to miss.
Where to stay in Athens during the Athens & Epidaurus Festival:
- The Pinnacle Athens – Check Prices & Availability
- Cityzoe Athens Suites – Check Prices & Availability
- Cohort Koukaki – Check Prices & Availability
La Tomatina Festival – Bunol, Spain
Bunol hilarious and famous La Tomatine festival is the largest and most colorful food fight festival in Europe. It’s held every year on the last Wednesday of August during which visitors can engage in the biggest food fight of their life on the streets of Bunol.
La Tomatine is a part of the week-long celebration that honors the town’s patron saints, Luis Bertran as well as the Virgin Mary. During this time visitors can also learn about the beautiful history of this charming Spanish town while enjoying its magical atmosphere and great food.
Where to stay in Bunol during the La Tomatina Festival:
Sziget Festival – Budapest, Hungary
Budapest’s Sziget Festival is one of the largest cultural and music festivals in Europe every year in August. It’s the place to be for music lovers since this festival has a wide range of performers in all types of music genres.
Visitors can not only enjoy the live performances of their favorite artists and musicians but also get to know the music of some of the lesser-known talented artists from all over the world. It’s also one of the best times to visit Budapest and learn about the city’s rich history and try some delicious Hungarian food.
Where to stay in Budapest during the Sziget Festival:
- Párisi Udvar Hotel Budapest, part of Hyatt – Check Prices & Availability
- Aria Hotel Budapest by Library Hotel Collection – Check Prices & Availability
- Anantara New York Palace Budapest – Check Prices & Availability
Glastonbury Festival – England
England’s iconic Glastonbury festival is the largest greenfield music and performing arts festival in the world. It also became a sort of inspiration and a template for all the festivals in Europe and all around the globe. The Glastonbury festival is held every year in June during which visitors can not only enjoy the music of some of the biggest contemporary musicians but also watch dance and comedy performances.
At Glastonbury, art lovers of all types can find something to their taste since they also has a fine range of theatre, circus, and cabaret shows as well as many other art performances throughout the whole festival.
Where to stay in Glastonbury during the Glastonbury Festival:
- Orchard Farm Luxury Glamping – Check Prices & Availability
- The Glastonbury Townhouse – Check Prices & Availability
- Lantern Cottage – Check Prices & Availability
Best Fall Festivals In Europe
Oktoberfest – Munich, Germany
Munich’s Octoberfest is no doubt one of the most famous festivals in Europe. Octoberfest happens to be one of the most beloved beer festivals that doubles as a traveling carnival. The world’s largest Volksfest, Octoberfest, is held every year in Munich in September.
During this iconic German festival, visitors can enjoy fun parades, great folk music, fine beer, and of course try plenty of delicious and traditional German dishes while learning a bit more about the country’s fascinating culture and history.
Where to stay in Munich during Oktoberfest:
- Boutique Hotel Atrium München – Check Prices & Availability
- Hotel MIO by AMANO – Check Prices & Availability
- Mandarin Oriental, Munich – Check Prices & Availability
Jane Austen Festival – Bath, England
Are you a Jane Austen fan or just generally love classic literature and 18th-century fashion? Then Bath’s Jane Austen festival is a must-visit for you. Bath is famously one of England’s most atmospheric cities where visitors can not only enjoy imposing architecture and the iconic Roman-built baths but also brilliant restaurants and a vibrant art scene.
While there are many things to see and try in Bath one of the best times to visit is certainly during its fun Jane Austen festival. Visitors can decide if they want to dress up in period costumes and attend the various events of the festivals as participants or merely as observers. The Jane Austen festival in Bath is held every year in September and is one of the best festivals in Europe for literature and history buffs.
Visitors can also try many concerts, workshops, and dance classes, and enjoy the gorgeous costumes and music while learning more about Jane Austen and 18th-century England.
Where to stay in Bath during the Jane Austen Festival:
- The Z Hotel Bath – Check Prices & Availability
- Apex City of Bath Hotel – Check Prices & Availability
- The Kennard – Check Prices & Availability
Montmartre Grape Harvest Festival – Paris, France
One of the most magical times to visit Paris is during fall and of course during the beloved Montmartre Grape Harvest Festival. This fun wine festival in Paris is one of the biggest and most loved festivals in Europe that’s not just for wine lovers.
Montmartre Grape Harvest festival is one of the most popular Parisian festivals during which visitors can not only explore the iconic Montmartre district but treat their taste buds when tasting some of the finest French wines and various gastronomic delights and while learning more about Paris’ history and culture. Paris’s Montmartre Grape Harvest is held every year in October.
Where to stay in Paris during the Montmartre Grape Harvest Festival:
- Arioso – Check Prices & Availability
- Hotel Lutetia – Check Prices & Availability
- Hôtel de Roubaix – Check Prices & Availability
Wine and Music Valley Festival – Lamego, Portugal
Looking for one of the best European festivals with the single most breathtaking view? Then you should head to Lamego’s celebrated Wine and Music Valley festival in Portugal. You’ll not only get to explore the beautiful and calming area and its top-notch wineries but taste some of the most delicious wines and traditional dishes while enjoying some quality music as the sun sets over the Douro valley of Lamego.
Lamego’s Wine ad Music Valley festival is family-friendly and can be a very romantic experience too and it’s held every year in September. Visitors can also learn about the famous Douro valley which is one of the oldest wine regions in the world.
Where to stay in Lamego during the Wine and Music Valley Festival:
- The Wine House Hotel – Quinta da Pacheca – Check Prices & Availability
- Lamego Hotel & Life – Check Prices & Availability
- Six Senses Douro Valley – Check Prices & Availability
Best Winter Festivals In Europe
Carnival of Venice – Italy
Where to stay in Venice during the Carnival of Venice:
- Hotel Torino – Check Prices & Availability
- Palazzo Orseolo- Gondola View – Check Prices & Availability
- PALAZZO PIANCA – Check Prices & Availability
Tomorrowland Winter Festival – Alpe d’Huez, France
Alpe d’Huez’ popular Tomorrowland Winter Festival is one of the largest and most unique festivals in Europe during which festival-goers can not only enjoy great music but the beautiful views of the French Alps too. Tomorrowland is one of the most unique winter festivals in Europe to have music and a snow-filled experience they will never forget.
It’s one of the best music festivals all music lovers should attend since it has a one-of-a-kind vibe thanks to the stunning mythical slopes and sunny days. While there is a lot of snow there you don’t have to be worried about being gloomy or too cold since it’s one of the few places where the sun brightly shines 300 days per year. Tomorrowland Winter Festival is held every year in March.
Where to stay in Alpe d’Huez during the Tomorrowland Winter Festival:
- Langley Hôtel Le Petit Prince – Check Prices & Availability
- Hotel Les Bruyères – Check Prices & Availability
- CGH Résidences & Spas Le Cristal de l’Alpe – Check Prices & Availability
Up Helly Aa Festival – Lerwick, Scotland
Lerwick’s magical and thrilling Up Helly Aa festival is one of the best traditional festivals in Europe during which visitors can experience some of the most amazing art performances of their lives while learning about Scottish culture. It’s a must-visit festival for all art lovers and those who love to learn more about winter traditions from around the world.
The Up Helly Aa festivals is held every year in January and it also marks the end of the Yule season. It’s one of the most visually impressive Euroean festivals that’s also a celebration of Shetland history as well as a triumphant demonstration of islanders’ skills and spirit.
Where to stay in Lerwick during the Up Helly Aa Festival:
- Aald Harbour Bed & Breakfast – Check Prices & Availability
- Norlande – Check Prices & Availability
- Eddlewood Guest House – Check Prices & Availability
Amsterdam Light Festival – The Netherlands
One of the most magical times to visit Amsterdam is during its fascinating Light Festival. It’s held from December and January during which time the beautiful Amsterdam city center lights up and turns into a real-life magical wonderland.
The Amsterdam Light Festival is one of the biggest free festivals in Europe and visitors can explore the beautiful lights on foot while walking or by hopping on a bike or sailing down the charming canals of Amsterdam. The enchanting artworks that are displayed all over the city are the creations of dozens of talented artists including individuals, duos, and collectives.
The Amsterdam Light Festival is also one of the biggest free festivals in Europe that’s also family-friendly and will surely provide an unforgettable experience to visitors of all ages.
Where to stay in Amsterdam during the Amsterdam Light Festival:
- Eden Hotel Amsterdam – Check Prices & Availability
- Hotel Estheréa – Check Prices & Availability
- citizenM Amstel Amsterdam – Check Prices & Availability
Netherlands Ice Sculpture Festival – Zwolle, Netherlands
Zwolle’s mind-blowing Ice Sculpture Festival is definitely one of the most family-friendly festivals in Europe that will leave every visitor in awe. The Ice Sculpture festival is also one of the most popular festivals in the Netherlands and it’s held every year from December to March.
Visitors can get lost in a one-of-a-kind and wonderous world filled with crystal-clear ice and glittering snow and explore some of the most beautiful ice sculptures ever created. During this special European festival ice sculpting artists gather in Zwolle from all around the world to create a unique experience for festival goers.
It’s also the largest Dutch Ice Sculpture festival during which visitors can not only look at the breathtaking creations but can walk through and explore some of its largest pieces. This spectacular frozen exhibition and iconic winter event has some of the most creative artists who create their pieces that are not only inspired by classic artworks and literature but also pop culture including popular movies.
Where to stay in Zwolle during the Netherlands Ice Sculpture Festival:
- Hotel Lumen Zwolle – Check Prices & Availability
- Bilderberg Grand Hotel Wientjes – Check Prices & Availability
- B&B in de Steenstraat – Check Prices & Availability
Carnival de Santa Cruz de Tenerife – Spain
One of Spain’s biggest and most vibrant festivals is the brilliant Santa Cruz de Tenerife Carnival which is held every year in February. It’s one of the most entertaining winter festivals in Europe that’s perfect for visitors of all ages which makes it one of the most perfectly family-friendly European festivals.
Santa Cruz de Tenerife is the capital of the beloved Canary Islands and its Carnival is the single largest and most popular Carnival after the Rio de Janeiro Carnival. This fun European festival celebrates the burial of the sardine (entierro de la sardina) and visitors can enjoy fun dance shows, and great music, try traditional competitions, watch its internationally famous parade, dance at its many parties, watch the Queen selection, and have fun at its Piñata weekend.
It’s certainly one of the best times to visit Tenerife and not only experience one of the most captivating festivals in Europe but also learn about Tenerife’s history, and culture, and of course, taste its local delicacies.
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