Europe is fast becoming one of the premier backpacking and budget destinations across the world. Thousands of people are expected to stream into the region, not to visit museums or game parks, but to attend and get a glimpse of parties, nightlife and festivals that are always the summer-characteristics of Europe, from one end to another. So if you are planning of visiting the continent this year, below is a detailed description of the 9 most visited festivals to include in your vacation’s “places to go” and “what to do” list. If you want a break from the routine, drop us a travel postcard to discover the PickYourTrail way of Traveling.
1. Edinburgh International Festival – Edinburg, Scotland
Edinburgh is a world-renowned festival of performing arts featuring artists from all over the globe. Edinburgh brings the very best in classical music, dance, theater, visual arts exhibitions and opera from across the world to Edinburgh – one of the UK’s most beautiful cities – for three exciting weeks, beginning 8th to 31st August. While here, you’ll love taking in some unbelievable street performances, great shows and the world’s famous Military Tattoo right in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle. The festival also hosts a series of talks and workshops.
2. Halloween festival – Transylvania, Hungary & Romania
There’s no better place to spend Halloween than in Dracula’s Transylvania. The festival takes place in October every year and involves masked Halloween party in a mountain lodge in the middle of Transylvania Mountains. During the festival, the atmosphere at the mountain is just mysterious, spooky and magnificent and features people with fancy dresses and fake blood pouring from eye sockets, following Dracula’s trail past mountain chalets, castles, quaint local villages and fortified churches. If you need one in a lifetime adventure, then this festival perfectly suits you.
3. Running of the Bulls, Pamplona, Spain
The Running of the Bulls, the most popular festival in Spain, is held between July 6 and 14 every year, and involves running on front of a dozen of bulls that have been let loose on a course of a sectioned-off subset of the streets of Pamplona. The opening ceremony, known as the Chupinazo which normally occurs on July 6 at 12 noon, makes the day to be different from other days of the festival. At 11 pm, you’ll experience magnificent fireworks and general partying which are then expected to continue throughout the festival.
4. La Fête Nationale, Champes Elysees avenue, Paris
Known by the English-speaking countries as Bastille Day, this French festival is celebrated every year on July 14 – France’s National Day. The festival comprises the oldest and largest military parade in the continent, held on the morning of July 14. The parade passes down from the Arc de Triomphe to the Place de la Concorde. You wouldn’t want to miss the public concerts and dances on the night before, and the fireworks in the evening of the festival.
5. Sziget Festival, Budapest, Hungary
This is one of the largest cultural and music festivals in Europe that is held every August in the northern Budapest, on the Old Buda Island (budai-sziget) in the middle of Danube River. Featuring over 1000 acts and performances, the festival has won several awards and is dubbed by many as the “European alternative to Burning Man”. For festival fans, this event is seen as an amusement park as it bursts with various colourful and exciting distractions from reality.
6. Oktoberfest, Munich, Germany
Oktoberfest is the world’s most famous beer festival which takes place every year from mid-September to October in Munich Germany. While here, you’ll enjoy yourself with hundreds of other people drinking, singing, dancing, and having fun in beer tents. The festival is organized by Munich’s largest and most traditional breweries. You’ll love drinking beer by the litre, but if you are a teetotaller, you don’t need to worry; water and sodas are available too.
7. La Tomatina – Valencia, Spain
La Tomatina is a food fight festival held in the Valencian town of Buǹol, 30 km from the Mediterranean on the Wednesday of August every year, and goes on for a week. Considered as the world’s biggest food fight, the festival involves a fight in which participants throw hundreds of metric tons of over-ripe tomatoes in the streets. Additionally, the festival features parades, music, fireworks and dancing.
8. La Battala Del Vino – La Rioja, Spain[media-credit name=”http://cdn.roughguides.com/” align=”aligncenter” width=”800″][/media-credit]If you thought La Tomatina is the craziest festival in the world, then wait till you have a glimpse of La Battala. La Battala is a festival that is held every year on the 29th of June, in which thousands of locals and hundreds of lucky tourists climb a mountain in the village of Haro, Spain and throw wine on each other. Rather than drinking and savoring red wine, the locals prefer splashing it all over the place. Everyone gets wet and sticky as they all turn into a beautiful shade of purple.
9. Pinkpop Festival – Landgraaf, Netherlands
[/media-credit]Pinkpop festival which takes place on the grounds of a former horse-racing track in rural Landgraaf every year during the Pentecost weekend – seventh Sunday after Easter (early June) – involves creaming masses and guitars and frantic, electric performance. The participants dye their hair pink and wear pink T-shirts and pink plastic glasses, making the scene appear like a pink sea. While staying true to its guitar-shredding heroes, the crowd screams, sing, arm flail and jump up and down.
Bonus : Larmer Tree Festival – Dorset, England
[/media-credit]Larmer Tree festival is normally held from July 17th to 21st. Voted as the best UK family festival, Larmer Tree Festival promotes itself as the quirkiest, friendliest and happiest festival in the land. The event features eclectic music, dance, street theater, comedy and workshops for both adults and children in the natural ambiance of Salisbury’s Larmer Tree Gardens. The closing day is marked by a carnival procession in which participants are required to wear costumes they have made at workshops during the festival.