If you're planning on visiting Europe to experience a festival of any kind, whether it be a festival celebrating a country's heritage, food, music or even a seasonal festival, this guide to various festivals in Europe is exactly what you've been looking for. 


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COUNTRY SPECIFIC FESTIVALS IN EUROPE  

This list of festivals that are specific to different countries in Europe and often extremely well-attended will tell you where the festival is, when the festival is, the history of the festival and some top tips on visiting the festival. 

CARNEVALE

Photo credit: telegraph.co.uk

Photo credit: telegraph.co.uk

Location: Venice, Italy 

When: Usually the first two weeks in February (two weeks before the beginning of Lent) 

History: This festival that involves Venetians and tourists alike dressing up in costume and masquerade masks dates back to the 5th century. It was originally a celebration of life and indulgences before Lent for those who practice the Catholic faith. Lent is a period of sacrifice in preparation for the resurrection of Jesus that occurs after six weeks of Lent on Easter Sunday. Today, Carnevale is still celebrated in Venice and many tourists of all religions visit the city to witness the gorgeous outfits and buy a mask to join in on the fun. 

Top tips: While there are many events that occur during the Carnevale celebration, Venice in February can be very rainy with high-tides so be sure to dress accordingly for water sometimes even knee-deep as well as come prepared for some outdoor activities such as concerts to potentially be cancelled. 

For more information on the Carnevale festival, click here 

ST. PATRICK'S DAY

Photo cerdit: lovindublin.com

Photo cerdit: lovindublin.com

Location: Dublin, Ireland 

When: March 17th 

History: This Saint day was made an official Christian feast day and holiday in the 17th century, marking the arrival of Christianity in Ireland and the death of Saint Patrick. On this day it is expected to wear shamrock green clothing which is the color that is widely considered the color of Catholics in Ireland. When visiting St. Patrick Day festivities in Dublin today, you can celebrate in pubs for the whole weekend as well as witness the main colorful parade. 

Top tips: Be sure to book your accommodation in advance as this is very well-attended festival and flights to Dublin and especially accommodation book up fast! 

For more information on the St. Patrick's Day festival and the parade, click here

OKTOBERFEST

Photo credit: uk.businessinsider.com

Photo credit: uk.businessinsider.com

Location: Munich, Germany

When: Usually the last three weeks in September

History: In October of 1810, Prince Ludwig, later to become King Ludwig I, was married to Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen and the whole city of Munich was invited to celebrate, beginning the tradition of Oktoberfest. Today on the first Saturday of the festival the Mayor of Munich at noon taps the first keg of beer for Oktoberfest and the festival begins! 

Top tips: Oktoberfest is an extremely popular festival, with often over 6 million visitors. In the free tents which you can see in the photo above, space is very limited and it can get crowded very quickly (with many people who have been drinking for hours). Be sure to arrive early and watch out for those who do not choose to drink in moderation! 

For more information on the Oktoberfest festival, click here

FRINGE FESTIVAL

Photo credit: editattoo.co.uk

Photo credit: editattoo.co.uk

Location: Edinburgh, United Kingdom 

When: Three weeks every August 

History: The Edinburgh Fringe Festival is the largest celebration of art and culture in the world. In 2016 there were 50,266 performances of 3,269 shows in 294 venues, including The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo as seen in the image above. 

Top tips: Edinburgh is a beautiful, historic and exciting city that is unfortunately, not very large. Book tickets to the events you want to attend in advance as well as your accommodation. Tickets for the Military Tattoo go on sale in December the year before the festival in August. 

For more information on the Fringe festival, click here 

MUSIC FESTIVALS IN EUROPE

For music festival lovers, read on... 

LOLLAPALOOZA BERLIN

Photo credit: festicket.com

Photo credit: festicket.com

Location: Berlin, Germany 

When: First weekend in September 

Top tips: This musical festival always features popular artists and DJs from all over the world. Just like at many other music festivals worldwide, you can buy a pass for the whole weekend which sell out fast! 

For more information on this music festival, to see the line-up and buy tickets, click here

UMBRIA JAZZ FESTIVAL

Photo credit: bellaumbria.net

Photo credit: bellaumbria.net

Location: Perugia, Italy 

When: Second and third week of July 

Top tips: The Umbria Jazz Festival is one of the most highly-regarded jazz festivals in the world, in effect since 1973. While this festival is mainly held in the capital of the Umbria region, Perugia, a car rental is needed to get around the different towns in the region if you plan on exploring or attending smaller events. Since Perugia is very small, consider staying in nearby towns such as Assisi or the charming small town of Oriveto for an off-the-beaten path Italian experience. 

For more information on this music festival, to see the line-up and buy tickets, click here 

FOOD AND HOLIDAY FESTIVALS IN EUROPE

If you plan on visiting Europe around the holiday season in December, there are a number of Christmas markets where you can try regional food from the country you are in as well as buy souvenirs from the area. Some of our favorite Christmas markets in Europe are in the cities of Strasbourg, Edinburgh and Hamburg. 

To read about the best Christmas markets in Paris, click here  


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