There are many great events throughout cities in Europe this October. We have put together a list of some of the best, from food and drink to music festivals.
Location: O Grove, Galicia
Nearest City: Pontevedra
Event: Fiesta del Marisco
Date: 4th – 14th October 2018
Since the early days of being nicknamed “Seafood Paradise" this event has been held annually in October since 1963. This cultural gastronomical seafood festival is mainly aimed at promoting the two main bulks of the towns economy, which are fishing and tourism. People come from far and wide to experience this culinary delight with visitor numbers expected at well over 200,000! It is not just about all the shrimp, crayfish, oysters, scallops and other tantalising delicacies which are on offer. Alongside this event, you can also enjoy great music, so be sure to listen to the many different concerts happening throughout the festival.
Location: Certaldo, Tuscany
Nearest Cities: Florence & Empoli
Event: Boccaccesca Food and Wine Festival
Date: 5th – 7th October 2018
The heat of the summer months is over, and the leaves may be turning, but October is always a great month to be visiting the hills and valleys of the marvellous towns and villages of Tuscany. With harvest under way, food and wine are on the agenda at this 3-day yearly festival, Boccaccesco, and it is one you will certainly want to head to! Classic Tuscan wines such as Chianti Classico and Brunello of Montalicino are some of the very best! Alongside the wine is of course food. Here you will be able to sample another speciality….game. Also be sure to try Ribonella, which is a delicious soup made from bread, beans, cabbage, vegatables and the various antipasti, including salami and prosciutto.
Not only does the festival offer food and wine but also offers cooking competitions and demonstrations by famous Italian chefs, plus you’ll have fun taking in the historical medieval re-enactments bringing to life all the splendour of Renaissance.
Location: Sant Sadurni d’Anoia, Catalonia
Nearest City: Barcelona
Event: Cavatast – Cava and Gastronomy Tasting Fair
Date: 5th – 7th October 2018
Cavatast is a celebration of everything Cava, a sparkling Catalan wine which is made in similar fashion to Champagne. Sant Sadurni d’Anoia, Spain’s Cava capital, and is where lovers of all things Cava come to from around the world during this three-day festival which this year is celebrating its 20th anniversary. If you have ever had the pleasure of popping open a bottle of Cava, then this is where it would have been produced. Here you will have the chance of seeing how. Chocolate, Cava and of course the traditional Catalan cuisine, will all be there for your tasting pleasure. In addition to the food and wine tastings, exhibitions, workshops and live music will also await you.
The festivities also cater to the younger members of the family too. A special children’s play area, and the miniature train that runs through the town, will be a delight to the young, and the big kids.
Do not forget to jump at the chance to hop bare footed into a barrel to squash the grapes too! Visiting the wineries in the area should be number one on your list of things to do while visiting. Freixent is probably the largest and most well-known international Cava producer, and here you can take a winery tour. The cellars are enormous and best viewed from the small passenger train that travels through the underground cellars. Enjoy a group or private tour at Codorniu where you will discover the origins of Cava, which they know all about having been around for more than 450 years.
Event: Festival of Lights
Date: 5th – 14th October 2018
This is an event like no other! For the 14th time, the Festival of Lights will once again transform Berlin into a city of merging spectrum’s, lanterns. visual effects and live performances to a huge sound track. Monuments, buildings, streets, quarters and squares of the German capital will be illuminated by artists productions. The Festival of Lights is one of the most elaborate and popular lighting festivals in the world and attracts over two million visitors every year. Lighting artists worldwide create brilliant projections, 3D video mappings as well as lighting installations all over the city.
With the partners of the Festival of Light, the festival can also be easily explored by bus, boat, bike, taxi and limousine or carriages. Together with the national and international artists, the Festival of lights team transforms Berlin into a great, radiant stage – all of Berlin lights up! They tell us stories, draw attention to hidden things in the neighbourhoods, present cultures and arts, convey messages and topics and create the most magical moments in Berlin!
Visit our Berlin page for more information surrounding Berlin, and book hotels, flights, attractions and tours for your city break to this cultural city.
Event: CAFe Budapest Contemporary Arts Festival
Date: 5th – 12th October 2018
Budapest "Pearl of The Danube" is a festival city and every season it holds various festivals so visitors to the Hungarian capital always have plenty of cultural programs to choose from. The Café Budapest Contemporary Arts Festival, formerly the Budapest Autumn Festival (Hungarian Budapesti Őszi Fesztivál) will showcase more than 200 events in more than 45 venues.
This annual dance, jazz, theatre, poetry and fine arts festival was founded in Budapest in 1992, and usually the festival takes place in early October. Like the Budapest Spring Festival, the Autumn Festival is also sponsored by the city, but the content is more geared to modern and avant-garde arts.
Visit our Budapest page for more information, and to book hotels, flights, attractions and tours for your Hungarian city break.
Location: Montmartre, Paris
Event: Fete des Vendanges Wine Festival
Date: 10th – 14th October 2018
Over half a million visitors flock to the Paris district of Montmartre each year to attend this grape harvest festival and to also visit the Basilica of Sacre–Coeur, the distinctive white church which sits on top of Montmarte Hill. With Paris’ only working vineyard, Clos Montmarte founded here, this is a vibrant neighbourhood which still shows signs of its artistic heritage.
Fete des Vandanges was originated shortly the winery was established in 1934. Within these fun filled, jam packed days, each year a godfather and godmother are appointed, and local eateries offer the godfather and godmother’s favourite dishes on their menus throughout the festival. You’ll be transported back in time within the medieval set up that stretches along the streets filled with tents offering food and wine delicacies. Just stroll the streets drinking in the atmosphere or join in the many culinary demonstrations and workshops available. Partake in the various walks, talks, or avail yourself of the opportunity to enjoy a guided tour of Clos Montmartre winery!
Above all else, don’t miss the festival finale with its grand parade and massive fireworks display to complete the celebrations. Word of advice, Montmartre with its hills and beautifully cobbled pavements is a little harder on the feet and legs so invest in a sturdy pair of walking shoes. Your feet will thank you after a day wandering around Montmartre!
Visit our Paris page for more general information, and to book hotels, flights, attractions and tours for your French city break.
Event: Amsterdam Dance and Electronic Music Festival
Date:17th – 21st October 2018
If it’s a party you are looking for, then don’t miss this event! This Amsterdam event has been named the biggest club festival of its kind in the world. It attracts visitors in excess of 370,000! Held over five days, the electronic music conference and festival is held annually in mid-October. There are over 450 events and 2,200 artists.
The event takes place at venues and clubs throughout the city in different locations. You’ll find plenty of parties happening in Amsterdam over these five days! The Amsterdam dance event program features upcoming artists, alongside some of the biggest names in the EDM (Electronic Dance Music) world. The whole spectrum of electronic sub-genres is covered in this comprehensive program. Besides music, there’s a pop-up program (popup stores, hop on party buses, a rooftop party, a secret rave, hidden performances), dance-related art exhibitions and installations, music talks and films.
Visit our Amsterdam page for more general information, and to book hotels, flights, attractions and tours for your Netherlands city break.
Event: The Jenever Festival
Date: 20th – 21st October 2018
One of the most exuberant city parties in all Belgium! Held every year on the third weekend of October, Hasselt hosts the fun and fabulous Jenever festival. This gives you the chance to experience all the tastes and colours of this national drink within the capital of Belgium! Even the city fountain gets in on the act with the water changing colour to Jenever. Running alongside, is local music, dance, street theatre performances, and of course, plenty of good food! Live cooking demonstrations are also on show throughout the festival, which will provide you with different creative ways of using Jenever with your own cooking.
There will be plenty of options to try out some Jenever based cocktails. Jenever is a liquor that has been made in Belgium for over 500 years. It has its own festival to celebrate the history, the heritage and the current role Jenever plays to this day. During the festival, the Jenever museum is free to enter and is well worth a visit to learn more about the rich history behind this drink. Like whisky and cognac, jenever is regulated.
Since 2008, it’s had its own ‘appelation d’origine contrôlée’, which means that only Belgium, the Netherlands, and parts of France and Germany, may produce the drink that bears the name Jenever/Genever, genièvre or peket. This festival has something for the whole family. On Sunday the Minderbroederstraat, is magically transformed into a children’s village and theatre and arts are the order of the day, with the likes of a graffiti wall, a wish tree and street art. There’s also food to suit the young taste buds.
Country: United Kingdom
Location: Conwy, Wales
Nearest City: Bangor
Event: Gwledd Conwy Feast
Date: 26th – 28th October 2018
In North Wales, they are gearing up for this delightful celebration of food, music, arts and farming, with all the festivities taking place in the atmospheric riverside town of Conwy. The Conwy Feast kicks off on Friday night with a bang! A firework display lighting up the night sky at 7pm. What follows over the weekend is full of fantastic fun for all the family.
There is street food, a food hall, a Surf ‘n Turf pop up restaurant, chef demos, a tasting kitchen, and a farming and growing marquee. Well stocked with local beers and liquors, you will find the feast bar right next to the music marquee, which is situated right on the water’s edge at Conwy quayside. Here you can see one of the very best views of Wales.
Talking of music… Gwledd Conwy Feast offers an electric mix where you will discover fresh local talent, folk, funk, reggae, rock and a lot more besides. If you are more into your arts and crafts, here’s your chance to see craftsmen putting their traditional skills to work in the shadow of Conwy Castle. Metalwork, leadwork, mosaic work, slate roofing, stonemasonry are just some of the skills which will be on display. You will see all these skills in action over the weekend of the festival. If you’re bringing the kids along, you’ll be happy to hear that entry is free for children and there’s a range of special food related activities just for the feast’s youngest visitors.
The castle was awarded world heritage status around 30 years ago. It was built in the 13th Century by Edward I, and to this date is one on the most impressive fortresses ever built in medieval Europe. With scenic views over the estuary, it is still one of the best-preserved castles. The eight towers and connecting walls are still intact today.
You’re in for a treat this year! Not only does the event turn 15, 2018 is Year of the Sea too, so join in the celebrations with a feast of food and fun!
Event: Poperinge Beer Festival
Date: 27th – 28th October 2018
Held over two days of the last weekend in October, the Poperinge Beer Festival is often referred to as "Belgium’s cosiest beer festival", and this year in 2018 it is holding the 23rd annual festival. When it comes to beer, this town has an international reputation. Situated in the Flemish part of Belgium, Poperinge is the nation’s "hops city". Surrounded by fields of hops, the town is also home to their national hops’ museum.
The Maeke Blyde event hall is also transformed into a cosy beer village for the duration of the festival. Overall there will be 25 brewers showcasing their finest creations of beers, of which there will be over 100 to try! New beers are revealed by the brewers each year, so you’ll be the first to try out the new releases. Craft beers and "special" beers are also featured at the festival. If you’re a true beer lover, then you need to mark this event in your calendar, and you can’t make it this year, then book the time out for 2019! Admission is free, and for tastings you can buy a commemorative festival glass. It’s either yours to keep or you can return it for a partial refund. Tasting tokens start from around €1.80.