While summer is undoubtedly the best time of the year for festivals, there are still interesting options all over Europe in autumn. If you’re a music, culture or art lover, or you simply want an excuse to get away for a few days, make sure to check out the following proposals.
First up we have the Festival of Lights in Berlin between October 7th and 16th. The city’s well-known sites are lit up to create a show of lights that you can visit by bus.
Staying with Germany, the Oktoberfest is held in Munich between September 16th and October 3rd. The festival takes place in the city centre and has become increasingly popular in recent years. Local beer with a stronger flavour than usual is the main attraction and is often served with roast chicken or pork.
Beer is also the star attraction at the Poperinge Beer Festival. This year is the 22nd edition, and takes place on the 28th and 29th of October in Belgium. Poperinge, also known as the “hops city”, is surrounded by fields and fields of this essential ingredient, and is internationally recognised for the quality of its beer. Up to 100 brew masters compete at the event to obtain the best tasting beer.
From Belgium, we skip over to Iceland, where, from the 1st to the 5th of November the famous Iceland Airwaves festival takes places. The main focus is to showcase new and emerging music groups over the five days at several venues in the centre of Reykjavik, this year up to 9000 people are expected to attend the festival. An added attraction to the festival is the city’s nature and scenery with glaciers, geysers, waterfalls, …
After the cold in Iceland, you can warm yourself up at the Boccacescca festival in Italy that takes place from October 6-8 in Certaldo, a medieval town in the Tuscany region and just 50km from Florence.
Tuscan wines like Chianti Classico or Brunello of Montalcino are legendary, and tastings take place during the festival with renowned sommeliers helping you to choose and truly appreciate the best of the local wines. Bars and restaurants in the town also serve traditional dishes like hare, deer and even wild boar to accompany the wines.
Moving from wine to cava, we have Cavastast, a cava and gastronomy tasting fair that takes place on October 6th, 7th and 8th in Sant Sadurní d’Anoia (Barcelona). Now in its 20th year, the festival pays tribute to this sparkling wine with chocolate tastings and servings of traditional Catalan food. The area is full of wineries, and you can visit many of them, including the famous Freixenet, or just enjoy a stroll through the vineyards in the area.
And last but not least, the Christmas markets begin in different European cities the last week in November, two of the most well-known take place in Berlin and Hamburg.
There are up to eight markets spread over different neighbourhoods in Berlin, although the largest one is called Spandau and runs from November 23rd to December 23rd in the old town with more than 250 stalls selling crafts, food, and drinks.
Hamburg also has a quite a few markets, with the highlight being Rathausmarkt. It’s the city’s oldest market and is a big hit with the kids as it has plenty of attractions to keep them entertained.
As you can see the festivals continue long after summer has finished with a host of options to enjoy all over Europe.