Europe’s Funkiest Fall Festivities

Friday 15 December 2023
Europe’s Funkiest Fall Festivities

Berlin Art Week: September


Taking place in September, Berlin Art Week is a magnet for artists, art lovers and collectors from all over the world. A cosmopolitan treasure box of contemporary art, the city hosts five days of exhibitions, artist talks and panel discussions, and installations across its various neighbourhoods.

Stroll into Berlin’s leading contemporary art galleries, which open their doors to the public to showcase the works of both established and emerging artists. Art enthusiasts will relish the opportunity to explore a diverse range of art styles and mediums. Special art installations during this week engage with public spaces and challenge traditional notions of art, many of them free and interactive. Live performances, workshops, parties and Berlin’s famous nightlife complete the cornucopia, bringing the city’s artistic buzz to the ultimate heights.


Oktoberfest (Germany and Austria): September - October

No beer festival in the world is more renowned than Germany’s iconic Oktoberfest. Every year, millions of visitors travel to Munich, the origin and heart of the Oktoberfest, to enjoy Bavarian beers, local food, and lively music at historic landmarks like the Marienplatz and Nymphenburg Palace, and in the city’s lush green parks.

Meanwhile, UNESCO-listed old towns like Regensburg, Bamberg, Nuremberg provide the perfect blend of history and tradition, each with its own medieval charm, local brews and a warm, neighbourhood vibe. And for the full Bavarian experience, picturesque Alpine towns like Garmisch-Partenkirchen invite you to beer gardens with breathtaking views of the Alps. If you’re brave enough, do as the Bavarians and cycle to your beer garden of choice—and back!


Grape Harvest Festivals: September - November

With the end of the grape-growing season, autumn is an explosion of harvest festivals in Europe’s most celebrated wine regions. Kick off the festivities with the Rioja Wine Harvest Festival in Logroño, a celebration of one of Spain’s most drinkable wines, featuring traditional grape treading, processions, wine competitions, and a lively atmosphere in the city's streets.

Stomp onward to Palio di San Michele in Panzano, Italy, for a quintessential Tuscan harvest festival—including a medieval tournament and more grape treading—on September 29th. Then on to Bordeaux, where the Bordeaux Wine Festival showcases the region’s best vintages every two years, culminating with fireworks along the Garonne River. Cap your European harvest tour in Paris, where the artist’s enclave of Montmartre hosts La Fête des Vendanges in October, a joyful festival with wine tastings, music, dancing, and a parade through its charming alleys.

Other grape harvest festivals include the 10-day Madeira Wine Festival in Portugal in August; Wurstmarkt in Bad Dürkheim, Germany, known as the world's largest wine festival, held in September; and Saint Martin's Day in Croatia and Austria on November 11th.

Halloween: October 31st

Fans of fancy dress come alive at the spookiest festivity of the year: Halloween, of course! Celebrated throughout Europe and the UK, Halloween is a cornucopia of themed festivals, haunted houses, costume parties and pumpkin carving events.

Embrace the ancient Celtic tradition of Samhain, from which Halloween originated, in the land of the Celts. In Northern Ireland, the city of Derry hosts one of the largest Halloween events in the world. Its historic walls become the backdrop for a spooky carnival, fireworks, haunted tours, and a grand parade. Down in Galway, the Macnas Parade features elaborate floats, costumed performers, and street performances, creating a magical and mysterious atmosphere like nothing else.