11 Most Attended Annual Events in Europe

Oktoberfest in Munich

A man holding several beers during the Oktoberfest

Oktoberfest is a world-famous festival held annually in Munich, Germany. The festival usually starts in late September, lasts approximately two weeks, and attracts millions of visitors worldwide who gather to enjoy traditional German cuisine, listen to live music and drink beer.

The vibrant atmosphere of Oktoberfest is full of energy and excitement, and visitors can expect to be fully immersed in it. The festival has several large tents with long tables and benches, providing ample space for visitors to sit and enjoy the festive atmosphere. A different brewery runs each tent and serves its unique beer, specially brewed for the festival. Alongside the beer, visitors can try various traditional German foods, including pretzels, sausages, roasted chicken, and potato dumplings. Additionally, several carnival rides and games are available to keep visitors entertained.

Paris Plages

Young men are playin beach volleyball in Paris

Paris Plages is a summer event that transforms the banks of the Seine River into a sandy beach. During the summer months, locals and tourists flock to this unique event to enjoy the sunny weather and cool off in the refreshing waters of the Seine. Visitors can expect to find several different activities and attractions along the beach, including beach volleyball, paddle boating, and a variety of outdoor games.

Along with these activities, Paris Plages also features several pop-up restaurants and bars that offer refreshing drinks and delicious food options. The atmosphere is lively and festive, with live music performances and street performers adding to the overall mood of the event. With its sandy beaches, water activities, and bustling atmosphere, Paris Plages is the perfect summertime getaway for those looking to enjoy a unique and exciting experience in the heart of Paris.

Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Fireworks in Edinburgh

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is a celebration of the arts held every August in Scotland's capital city, Edinburgh. This festival has gained global recognition and has become the world's largest arts festival, attracting thousands of performers and visitors from all around the world. What makes this festival unique is that it is open to all forms of the arts, from comedy and theatre to dance and music.

Visitors to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe can expect a truly unique experience. With thousands of performances across hundreds of venues throughout the city, there is something for everyone. You can wander through the streets and witness street performers, take in a play or stand-up comedy show, or enjoy a classical music concert. The festival offers a platform for emerging artists to showcase their talent, making it a diverse and inclusive celebration of the arts.

Carnival of Venice

Carnival of Venice

Venice Carnival is one of the most iconic events in the world. This annual festival takes place in the enchanting city of Venice, where locals and visitors wear elaborate masks and costumes, transforming the city into a vibrant and colourful spectacle.

Visitors can expect to be transported to a bygone era of masquerade balls and Venetian royalty as they explore the city's narrow streets and historical landmarks. From the iconic St. Mark's Square to the winding canals and picturesque bridges, every corner of Venice is transformed into a stage for the festivities. Be sure to attend the grand parade, where elaborately decorated floats and performers in exquisite costumes parade through the city's streets. And if you're feeling adventurous, participate in one of the many masquerade balls.

La Fête des Lumières in Lyon

La Fête des Lumières in Lyon

La Fête des Lumières, also known as the Festival of Lights, is an annual festival that takes place in Lyon, France. This spectacular event is a celebration of light and attracts millions of visitors from around the world. The festival is usually organized around the 8th of December and transforms the city of Lyon into a breathtaking illuminated wonderland.

Visitors can stroll through the illuminated streets and enjoy the beautiful light shows that showcase Lyon's historical and cultural heritage. The festival also features interactive light installations, street performers, and music performances that create an electrifying atmosphere.

La Mercè Festival in Barcelona

La Mercè

La Mercè is the largest festival in Barcelona. From the iconic human towers to the explosive correfoc, La Mercè offers visitors a unique and unforgettable experience that immerses them in the Catalan way of life.

At La Mercè, visitors can expect to be dazzled by a spectacular fireworks display, experience the thrill of watching the Castellers climb to dizzying heights, and be amazed by the joyous sounds of Sardana music. La Mercè offers something for everyone, from traditional parades to cutting-edge concerts, regardless of interests or age. Whether you're a foodie looking to sample the best Catalan cuisine, an art lover or a partygoer ready to dance the night away, La Mercè has it all.

St. Patrick's Day in Dublin

St. Patrick's Day Parade

Get ready to wear your green attire and celebrate St. Patrick's Day in Dublin, the birthplace of this iconic holiday! Visitors to Dublin can expect an unforgettable experience, as the city comes alive with festivities, parades, and events that showcase Ireland's rich culture and heritage. Whether you're a local or a tourist, there's something for everyone to enjoy during this lively and vibrant celebration.

From the colourful parade that winds through the streets of Dublin to the lively pubs and bars celebrating the day with traditional Irish music and dance, visitors can immerse themselves in the spirit of St. Patrick's Day. Don't forget to visit iconic landmarks like St. Patrick's Cathedral and Trinity College, where you can learn more about Ireland's rich history and cultural traditions. Whether you're sipping a pint of Guinness in a cosy pub or exploring the bustling streets of Temple Bar, St. Patrick's Day in Dublin is a truly unique and unforgettable experience.

Running of the Bulls (San Fermin Festival) in Spain

San Fermin Festival In Pamplona

San Fermin Festival is an annual event that involves running with bulls, which can be a dangerous activity for those participating. Those who prefer to observe can still enjoy the spectacle and cheer from the sidelines. There are also cultural events such as concerts and parades that offer a more relaxed and family-friendly environment. Visitors should be prepared for large crowds and long days with many activities. It's a celebration of tradition that has been held for centuries.

Notting Hill Carnival in London

Notting Hill Carnival in London

Notting Hill Carnival is an annual celebration of Caribbean culture and heritage held in London. This two-day event, which takes place on the last weekend of August, attracts visitors from around the world who come to experience the sights, sounds, and flavours of the Caribbean.

The streets of Notting Hill come alive with the sound of steel drums and the thumping beat of calypso and soca music, while revellers in colourful costumes dance through the crowds. Vendors sell a range of Caribbean delights, including jerk chicken, plantain, and curried goat. With over two million visitors every year, the Notting Hill Carnival is a truly unique experience that should not be missed if you are in London these days.

Cologne Carnival

Cologne Carnival

is an annual festival that takes over the city with colourful costumes, lively parades, and plenty of festivities. The Festivities start on Thursday evening and peak next Monday when the main parade occurs. The whole city becomes a party scene during the carnival days.

As you navigate the bustling streets of Cologne during Carnival, you'll encounter an eclectic mix of revellers decked out in everything from traditional folk outfits to outrageous costumes that push the boundaries of imagination. Streets, squares, pubs, restaurants, and carnival ships on the Rhine, wherever you go, there is a celebration.

Winter Glow in Bruges

Winter Glow in Bruges

Winter Glow is a magical ice sculpture festival that takes place in the picturesque town of Bruges in Belgium. Visitors can expect to be transported to a winter wonderland filled with glittering lights, festive music, and traditional food and drink. The festival takes place around the stunning medieval town square, which is transformed into a glittering ice rink, surrounded by charming chalets selling a variety of holiday treats and gifts.

During Winter Glow, visitors can enjoy various exciting activities, such as ice skating, taking a horse-drawn carriage ride around the town, or simply strolling through the charming streets and admiring the festive decorations. There are also several special events that take place throughout the festival, including live music performances, a magical light show, and a spectacular fireworks display on New Year's Eve. With its charming atmosphere and festive spirit, Winter Glow is the perfect place to get into the holiday spirit and create unforgettable memories with loved ones.