Festivals in Europe, in order by date:
Dates: August 26-29
Location: Valencia, Spain
Since 1944, people have been gathering at the Plaza del Pueblo in Bunol to take part in La Tomatina— the annual tomato fight. The festival starts with Palojabon, which is when someone climbs a two-story tall, greasy wooden pole to reach a ham at the top. Then tomatoes start flying all over the place. It’s a free for all, tomatoes splattering everywhere, so hopefully you like ketchup (and being covered in it). Otherwise, you may not like this massive food fight. After an hour, the tomato-throwing stops, and fire trucks come through to spray water all over the streets. This event is on the top of my travel bucket list. I’ve always wanted to take part in a food fight, ever since I saw the spaghetti fight on Lizzie McGuire when I was younger. If you’re studying abroad in Spain, make the trip to Valencia for this event, but you have to make sure you’re already abroad by the end of August to take part in it.
Dates: September 7-20
Location: Dublin, Ireland
The Tiger Dublin Fringe Festival highlights innovative artwork from artists around the world, challenging and rethinking traditional art in a way that engages with the audience and creates a conversation between the viewer and the piece. For sixteen days, Dublin transforms into an exciting and visual showcase that is as much fun for its artists as it is for its audience. If this doesn’t sound tempting enough, just think about all the Dublin Bay prawns you can eat and Guinness you can drink. Slainte!
Dates: September 19- October 4
Location: Munich, Germany
Everyone knows what Oktoberfest is— the most popular beer-focused event on earth— and if you’re abroad in Europe this fall, it’s an event you won’t want to miss. Spanning over two weeks from September into October, this festival brings millions into Munich, but it’s not only about the drinking. There’s also amazing food to eat, as well as amusement park rides and games for everyone. I could not tell you how many photos I’ve seen in my Facebook feed of my friends dressed in lederhosen, eating salty pretzels or running on a pool in a giant inflatable hamster ball. We can talk about Oktoberfest as a cultural event, but really, it’s an extremely fun party. Where else can you sit with 6 million people and drink in massive Theresienwiese tents? Get your beer mug ready and start looking for an accommodation— the tents fill up quickly!
Dates: October 8-12
Location: Paris, France
This October, France’s Montmartre is hosting the Fête des Vendanges— Grape Harvest Festival. If you love wine, come and join local French wine producers for the five-day event, which is the third most popular festival in Paris. You will indulge in regional products, immerse yourself into the culture, and enjoy fireworks from your balcony. Cue the Bridesmaids, “Welcome to the wine and magazine party!”
Dates: October 14-17
Location: London, UK
This October, 60,000 people will gather in London’s Regent’s Park for the Frieze Art Fair, an event full of discussions, commissions, and film projects. Visitors come to browse, and possibly even purchase, art from over 160 galleries. This art show is special because it urges consumer interaction and engagement with the art. Last year, Frieze London even added a new section called Live, which focuses on performance-based installations, to add an even more unique, innovative aspect to the show. When you’re finished here, go to the pub for a hearty shepherd’s pie and a Pimm’s Cup.