All year long we all save up our money for that perfect event: the summer holiday. But why does summer have to be the only holiday season? Yes, the summer sun is a big draw, but we are missing out on exciting events that happen throughout the year in different parts of Europe. This year, save your skin the horror of hours on sunny beaches, and try one of these exciting holiday suggestions for a truly memorable experience.
1) Carnival Season in Venice
The Carnival of Venice is an annual event in Italy, beginning sometime in February, and ending on Shrove Tuesday. The Festival lasts for about two weeks, and throughout this time the streets of Venice are packed with street performers, masked parades and even gondola and boat parades along the Grand Canal. A spectacular fireworks display will signal the end of the carnival, and the massive numbers of people wandering the streets in masks and costumes will die down just in time for fasting.
2) Oktoberfest in Munich
Oktoberfest is a sixteen day long festival celebrating beer, and it is also the largest people's fair in the world. All the beer at this fair must be brewed in the city of Munich, and each year these beers are celebrated starting at the end of September, finishing sometime in early October. This centuries’ old Festival is the cultural highlight of the year in Germany, not only celebrating beers, but also local cuisines and music. Make like the locals and drink from a 2 pint stein glass during Oktoberfest!
3) Fashion Week in Paris
Paris Fashion week only happens twice a year, and what better place to view the fashions for the next season than in the city that truly understands them. Be the first to see the key pieces for the next season, all surrounded by the culture and excitement of Paris. Come in September just as the leaves start to turn, enjoy the last of the summer weather, and see Paris at its best. You can also visit Paris in January for the spring/summer shows.
4) Christmas in Bruges
Spend March in Venice, but spend December in the Venice of the North. Bruges is in Belgium and is the capital of Christmas cheer. Frozen canals and snow topped ancient buildings would bring out the festive spirit in anyone, young or old. Wrap up warm and try ice skating on the outdoor rink in the square, and spend your evenings in cosy restaurants. Enjoy the historical architecture of this city, wander museums, and truly escape from it all in the idyllic surroundings.
5) Edinburgh Festival
Edinburgh Festival is a combination of many cultural festivals all happening simultaneously. The Edinburgh International Festival is the largest part of the festival, celebrating only the best in the fields of comedy, dance, music, and plays from all over the world. The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is an open festival where anyone can perform. Several other festivals continue here throughout August including a book festival, a science festival, music festivals and film festivals. This truly is the biggest celebration of world culture, and the atmosphere will draw anyone in.
When you are thinking about your holiday for next year, try something different and soak up some cultural atmosphere at one of these annual events. Many European tours incorporate these festivals into their itineraries, so there is really no excuse to miss these occasions. Don’t forget to take some photos of your trip and share them to provide inspiration for other travellers. Most of all, enjoy your trip and travel safely.