Best Holidays and Festivals in Europe in 2024

Carnivals and Festivals in Europe

Europe's calendar is dotted with an array of holidays and festivals in 2024 that reflect the continent's rich cultural heritage and vibrant modern arts scene. Among the top festivals in Europe, the Glastonbury Festival in the UK stands out as a premier greenfield music and performing arts festival, drawing enthusiasts from around the globe to enjoy a diverse lineup that spans genres and generations. Its reputation as one of the largest festivals in Europe is well-earned, with sprawling stages set against the picturesque English countryside, embodying the best of European festival experiences.

In Germany, Oktoberfest reigns supreme as the world’s largest Volksfest, combining a massive beer festival with a funfair to create an unforgettable experience. Visitors from all corners of the earth don traditional costume and gather in Munich to participate in this celebration of Bavarian culture and, of course, beer. Oktoberfest's global fame underscores its status as one of the best European cultural festivals, offering a taste of traditional festivals in Europe.

Spain offers a unique and exhilarating experience with La Tomatina, known as the world’s biggest food fight. Held annually in the town of Buñol, participants from all over the world hurl overripe tomatoes at one another, painting the town red in what is surely one of the most unconventional and lively cultural festivals in Europe. This event is a testament to the continent's love for festivals that are as fun as they are messy.

Croatia’s Klapa Music Festival shines a spotlight on the traditional a cappella singing of the Dalmatian coast, earning its place among the best music festivals in Europe. Celebrating this UNESCO-protected intangible cultural heritage, the festival features performances by the finest Klapa groups, offering a deeply authentic and moving experience that stands out among European festivals for its dedication to preserving traditional music.

The Digne’s Lavender Festival Parade in France, meanwhile, offers a sensory delight that celebrates the lavender bloom with a vibrant parade and events that showcase the region's iconic flower. It's a cultural festival that connects visitors with the traditional festivals of Europe, immersing them in a sea of purple and a cloud of soothing scents. This festival, like many others in Europe, is not just a celebration but a bridge connecting the past and present through shared cultural expressions.

These festivals, among the many celebrated across Europe, highlight the continent's diverse tapestry of traditions and innovations. From the electronic beats in Croatia to the traditional melodies and cultural showcases, Europe's festivals are a testament to its rich cultural landscape and the enduring appeal of gathering in celebration.

Europe's festival calendar is bursting with unique celebrations that cater to every interest, from the most electric open-air music festivals to deeply traditional cultural events steeped in history. One of the continent's standout music events is Italy’s folk music celebration, which brings together traditional music from all over Italy, showcasing a rich tapestry of sound that narrates the country's diverse regional cultures. This festival, often set against the backdrop of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, allows music lovers to immerse themselves in authentic folk and traditional music, making it a must-visit for those eager to explore Italy's musical heritage.

In Spain, the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona captures the world's imagination every year. This festival, celebrating its patron saint in boisterous style, combines courage, tradition, and adrenaline in a spectacle that's unmatched. The city of Pamplona comes alive with a week-long celebration that includes live concerts, traditional dances, and, of course, the heart-stopping main event. The festival's global fame draws visitors from all corners of the earth, eager to partake in one of Europe's most exhilarating traditions.

France’s boutique festivals, such as the renowned Fête de la Musique, transform the entire country into an open-air festival stage, with events across every city and town. Celebrated every June, this festival spans genres and generations, offering 70-plus events that range from classical music symphonies in heritage sites to cutting-edge dance music in urban spaces. The diversity and accessibility of performances make it one of the best summer festivals in Europe, showcasing the continent's rich musical landscape.

Croatia's Mihovil and Stjepan, a festival of klapa music, celebrates this unique style of singing that expresses themes of love and longing through a cappella harmonies. Set in the picturesque "Venice of Languedoc," this boutique festival offers a heartfelt exploration of traditional Croatian music, enchanting music lovers with performances that echo through the ancient streets. The festival, running since the second World War, continues to draw both national and international audiences, solidifying its place as a cherished cultural event.

The Sziget Festival in Hungary, known as one of the largest music and cultural festivals in Europe, transforms an island in the heart of Budapest into a vibrant celebration of music, culture, and art. Featuring dozens of unique outdoor and indoor stages, the festival offers a diverse lineup that spans genres from rock and indie to electronic and world music. Taking place every August, it attracts hundreds of thousands of festival-goers for a week-long extravaganza that epitomizes the spirit of European summer festivals.

In Serbia, the Exit Festival takes place in the historic Petrovaradin Fortress in the city of Novi Sad, combining a breathtaking venue with an eclectic mix of music genres. This festival has evolved into one of Europe's most recognized music events, offering an unforgettable experience with its stunning backdrop and world-class performances. Celebrated across a long weekend, it draws a global crowd, eager to dance beneath the fortress's ancient walls.

These festivals, each with their own unique charm and appeal, offer a glimpse into the vibrant cultural tapestry of Europe. From the historic streets of Italy to the dynamic arenas of Hungary and Serbia, Europe's festivals celebrate the rich diversity of its music, traditions, and heritage, making them must-visit destinations for those looking to experience the continent's unparalleled cultural vibrancy.


  • 1 January - New Year’s Day Street Festivals in Scotland carry over from the Hogmanay New Year’s Eve parties the night before.
  • 2 January - Berchtoldstag in Switzerland.
  • 5 January - Twelfth Night (also called Wassail Eve or Eve of Epiphany) in England.
  • 6 January - Epiphany as observed by Catholics across Europe.
  • 6-13 January - Ivrea Carnival in Ivrea, Italy. Quite a rager…complete with bonfires and citrus fights!
  • 20 January - St. Agnes Eve in Great Britain.
  • 25 January - Australia Day. Expats will find many celebrations in London.
  • 3rd Sunday  - The Truffle mushroom festival held in Uzes, France (near Nimes).


  • 1st Sunday - Hamstrom on first Sunday in Switzerland.
  • 11 February - Dusseldorf Carnival Parade in Dusseldorf, Germany.
  • Mid Feb-March - The Lemon Fesival in Menton, France.
  • Mid Feb-March - The Carnival Of Venice.


  • March-April - Carnival/Lent/Easter.
  • The Carnival Of Venice – Feb 16- Mar 5
  • St. Patrick’s Day – Mar 17
  • Maslenitsa – Mar  4-10.
  • Carnava – Mar 3-5.
  • 1 March - St. David’s Day- (Wales).
  • 3 March - Bulgarian National Day.
  • 8 March - International Women’s Day across UN member nations.
  • 17 March - St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland and North Ireland (fireworks in Dublin).
  • 19 March - St. Joseph’s Day in Italy and Spain.
  • 25 March - Independence Day in Greece Lady Day (Quarter Day) in Great Britain.
  • 26 March - Fiesta del Arbol (Arbor Day) in Spain.
  • 29 March - The Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race on the Thames River. The starting point is near Putney Bridge (southwest London) and finish is near Chiswick Bridge in Mortlake. The whole race lasts under 20 minutes and posits rivals Oxford (69 victories),wearing dark blue, against Cambridge (77 victories), wearing light blue, on the 4 mile 374 yard course up the River Thames. Mostly a big piss-up for spectators, the nearly 150 year old tradition has seen 3 total sinkings.
  • Mid March - Las Fallas - a huge week of all night partying, fireworks, and processions held in Valencia, Spain.
  • Last Week in March - Salon de Mars - Paris’ most important flower show on the Champ de Mars.


  • 1 April - Victory Day in Spain and April Fools’ Day (All Fools’ Day) in Great Britain.
  • 7 April - World Health Day in all UN member nations. The Paris Marathon - Nearly 30,000 runners begin from the Champs-Elysees near the Arc de Triomphe and finishes at Foch Avenue.
  • 3rd Week - The Moros y Cristianos festival in Alcoy, Spain re-enacts the historical battles between Moors and Christians.
  • 14 April - London Marathon - nearly 30,000 runners complete the 26.2 mile course which begins in Greenwich Park and Blackheath.
  • 22 April - Queen Isabella Day in Spain.
  • 23 April - St. George’s Day in England Good Friday & Easter Monday – Europe-wide. In Florence Piazza del Duomo, they apparently have a cart full of fireworks that they explode. If all goes well, it’s a sign of a great year to come.
  • 25 April - Feast of St Mark in Venice. Liberation Day in Italy. Anzac Day for Australians and New Zealanders. A festival is also held in Gallipoli, Turkey.
  • 30 April  - King's Day, a celebration in the Netherlands. In Amsterdam the city center streets are closed off and the whole place becomes a street party and market.
  • 30 April  - Walpurgis Night in Germany and across Scandinavia.
  • 30 April  - Beltane Fire Festival in honor of the Ancient Celts who celebrated the summer solstice on this day, complete with bonfires, costumes, and dances.


  • 1 May - Labour Day/May Day- observed across Europe.
  • 8 May - Victory in Europe Day.
  • 9 May - Victory over Fascism Day in Great Britain.
  • 15 May - Festival of San Isidro in Madrid.
  • Mis May - Cannes Film Festival held at the Palais de Festival for 10 days, everyone is competing for the 14 prizes, especially the Palm D’Or Award.
  • 24 May - Procession of the Holy Blood in Brugge, Belgium.
  • 25 May - Aalborg Carnival- join 10,000 people as they celebrate the close of winter and the beginning of springtime.
  • May 27-June 9 - French Open in Paris, France.
  • Last week May to 1st week of June - Dresden International Dixieland Jazz Festival (yup, that’s right, Dixieland).
  • Mid May- Mid June - Vienna Festival, featuring loads of cultural & music concerts.
  • May to June -  Romeria del Rocio- Aan up to 1 million person festive pilgrimage/procession to the shrine the shrine of the Virgin in Andalucian village of El Rocio (Pentecost weekend, 7th after Easter).


  • Various days in June - Pride parades across European cities.
  • Beginning of June - Rock Im Park, a musical festival in Germany.
  • Beginning of June - Glastonbury Music Festival.
  • Early June - Annual Cheese Rolling Contest held at Cooper’s Hill in Brockworth, Gloucester, England. Competitors chase an 8 pound Double Gloucester down a very steep hill with a one-in-three gradient.
  • 2 June  - Founding of the Republic Day in Italy-celebrates the formation of a unified Italy into a Republic on June 2, 1946.
  • 5 June- Constitution Day in Denmark. World Environment Day for all UN members.
  • 6 June - Flag Day in Sweden.
  • 2nd Sat in June - Rose Flower Festival at the Valsaintes Abbey (near Avignon).
  • 10 June - Portugal Day- celebrates the 1580 union of Spain and Portugal under King Philip.
  • 12 June - Republic Day in Great Britain.
  • 12-17 June - International Art Festival, Basel, Switzerland.
  • Mid June    Queen’s Official Birthday celebrated on the Second Saturday in Great Britain.
  • Mid June    Midsummer’s Celebrations in Sweden.
  • 21 June to 7 July - Viking Festival- relive Nordic Sagas at this 2 week festival celebrated by open-air theatre plays and banquets.
  • 24 June - Feast of St John the Baptist in Florence.
  • 29 June - Feast of St Peter & St Paul in Italy, Spain, and Vatican City.
  • End of June - Free rock, jazz and folk concerts in Vienna.


  • San Fermin - Jul 6-14.
  • 5 July - Cyril & Methodius Saints Day in Czech Republic.
  • 6 July - Jan Hus Day, Prague.
  • 6 July - Tour de France bicycle race begins in Luxembourg. The grand finale takes place on the Champs-Elysees in Paris.
  • 6-14 July - San Fermines (Running of the Bulls), Pamplona.
  • 12 July  - Orangemen’s Day in North Ireland.
  • Early July - early Aug The Avignon Festival which hosts more than 300 venues of theatre, music, dance, poetry, film, and circus productions.
  • 14 July - Bastille Day, France- (celebrated countrywide) commemorates the storming of the famous Bastille prison by French revolutionaries in 1789 with a military parade down the Champs-Elysees beginning at the Arc de Triomphe.
  • 18 July - National Day in Spain.
  • 21-22 July - Belgium Independence Day-celebrates their independence from the Netherlands and the ascension of their first king, Leopold 1 on July 21, 1831.
  • 22 July  - National Liberation Day in Poland.
  • 24-25 July - International Cliff Diving Championship in Ticino,Switzerland where contestants jump into water that is 18 meters deep from heights of up to 26 meters.
  • 25 July - St. James Day in Spain.
  • 25 July-4 Aug - Commonwealth Games in Manchester, England.
  • Late July - Lavender Festival in Valensole, France (near Aix-en-Provence).
  • 31 July - Pipesmoking World Championships in Thisted, Denmark. Current record is 1 hour, 36 minutes and 36 seconds.
  • No specified date - Munich Opera Festival, German/American Folk Festival, Berlin Copenhagen Jazz Festival- one of Europe’s best including indoor/outdoor concerts (some of which are free).


  • 1 August - Doggett’s Coat and Badger Race in London. Lammas Day in England. Bank Holiday in Ireland. National Day in Switzerland.
  • Palm Sunday to August 15 - The Lourdes Pilgramage, France.
  • 3-27 August - Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland.
  • 1st or 2nd Weekend - The Parade of Lavender Floats in Digne, France.
  • 11 August - Geneva Festival.
  • 14 August-13 Sept - Lucerne Festival.
  • 15 August - Assumption Day in all Catholic countries.
  • 15 August-1 Sept - Summer Fest, Munich, Germany.
  • Mid-August - Lavender Festival in Sault, France (near Avignon and Aix-en-Provence).
  • 17-19 August  - Dresden City Festival.
  • 17-25 August  - Brugge Festival.
  • 21-25 August - World Air Guitar Championships in Olou, Finland.
  • 23-28 Aug - Water Jousting.
  • 24-28 August - Rose of Tralee Festival in Tralee, Ireland.
  • 24-26 August - Notting Hill Carnival, London, UK. Europe’s biggest street carnival with over a million in attendance.
  • 27-30 August - Redding Music Festival in Redding and Leeds.
  • Last Wednesday of August - La Tomatina Festival in Bunol, Spain (40 km west of Valencia) –World’s largest tomato fight takes place in the steets.


  • Sept & Oct  - Berlin Festival of Music & Drama.
  • Early Sept -  Ars Electronica in Linz, Austria.
  • Mid Sept.  - Sherry Wine Harvest in Jerez, Spain Autumn Festival, Paris, France.
  • 21 Sept - Rhine in Flames, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany.
  • 22 Sept – 9 Oct -  Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany.
  • Throughout Sept - The Grape Harvest begins throughout France


  • Throughout Oct.  Berlin Jazz Festival.
  • 26 October - Austrian National Day - celebrates passing of 1955 law officially giving sovereignty and neutrality to Austria. Cork Jazz Festival.
  • 28 October - Okhi Day (National Holiday) in Greece. Republic Day (Czech Republic).
  • 31 October - Halloween.


  • First 2 weeks - Dijon International Food and Wine Festival-gastronomic/wine festival.
  • 1 November - All Saints Day celebrated Euro-wide.
  • 2 November - All Souls’ Day in Luxembourg, San Marino.
  • 4 November - National Unity Day in Italy.
  • 5 November - Guy Fawkes Day (Bonfire Night) in Great Britain.
  • 9 Novermber - The Lord Mayor’s Show, London, England.
  • 11 November  - Armistice Day in Belgium Veterans Day in France. Commemorated by the President of the Republic who lays a wreath before the tomb of the unknown soldier at the base of the Arc de Triomphe.
  • 17-20 November - The Cannibis Cup, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. 19 November National Holiday in Monaco.
  • 28 Nov-1 Dec - St. Andrew’s Week, St. Andrews, Scotland


  • 8 December - Feast of the Immaculate Conception-observed in most Catholic countries.
  • 10 December - Human Rights Day for all UN member nations.
  • 10-12 December - Escalade, Geneva, Switzerland.
  • 19 December - Floating Lights, Zurich, Switzerland.
  • 24 December - Christmas Eve- celebrated Euro-wide in all Christian countries Christmas Service at Westminster Abbey, London.
  • 25 December - Christmas Day-celebrated Euro-wide in all Christian countries.
  • 26 December - Boxing Day in Great Britain and North Ireland St Stephen’s Day in Austria, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, San Marino, Switzerland.
  • 31 December - New Year’s Eve throughout the world Hogmanay Day in Scotland.


  • Klapa Music Festival – 29 Jun - 21 Jul.
  • Kettlewell Scarecrow Festival – 10-18 Aug
  • Lavender Mob – 3-7 Aug
  • Flamenco Fair – 20-24 Sep
  • Dead Good Fun – 29 Jul
  • Noble Grapes – 15 Sep
  • Mad For Folk – 9-11 Aug
  • Pizzafest – 29 May - 7 Jun
  • La Tamborrada (Drum Festival) – 20 Jan
  • Creamfields – 27-30 Aug
  • Up Helly Aa – 28 Jan
  • Amsterdam Light Festival – 28 Nov – 19 Jan.
  • Dimensions Festival – 13 – 18 Aug.
  • Bratislava Music Festival – 25 Sept – 1 Oct.
  • Tomorrowland – Fri, 17 Jul – Sun, 26 Jul.
  • Sziget Festival – 5th August to 12th August
  • Colours Of Ostrava – 15th Jul to 18th Jul.
  • Soundwave Festival – April, 20th