Festivals, events: where to go on a trip to Europe in August

by Destination(s) Europe

📌 Read in / Lire en : Français (French)

August is the vacation month. The sun is at its zenith, the temperatures are at their highest, and the party is in full swing: there is no better time to decompress. There are plenty of parties for any taste. If you want to slather tomatoes on your friends, head to the region of Valencia in Spain, for the legendary Tomatina. If you have strong sea legs, go to Lorient, for the Interceltic Festival. If you like music and concerts, aim for Budapest, with the famous Sziget. But if you’re more of a quiet evening at the cinema kind of person, don’t worry, Italy has what you need with the traditional Venice Film Festival. Without further ado, here is where to go on a trip to Europe in August, depending on the festivals and events that take place there.

Update: In 2022, some of these meetings are either canceled or modified due to the coronavirus pandemic.

A Buñol for the Tomatina | Spain

Where? Buñol, west of Valencia, in southeastern Spain (map)

When? The last Wednesday of August

You’ve probably seen those images of thousands of revellers, red from head to toe, entangled in a tomato fight in the middle of the street in Spain. This is the Tomatina, which takes place every year at the end of August in Buñol, near Valencia. The tons of tomatoes used are unfit for consumption and are produced locally for this event. It is the perfect excuse to visit the region, which is not lacking in attractions. Just remember to take a change of clothes!

In Malaga for the Feria de Augusto | Spain

Where? Malaga, east of Seville, southern Spain (map)

When? For the dates of the next edition, go to the Tourist Office website

The August Feria is the highlight of the year in Malaga, a city in southern Spain known for the generosity of its sun. What are they celebrating? The recovery of the city by the Catholic kings (Isabelle I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon) on August 18th, 1487, five years before the completion of the Reconquista. And the celebration is everywhere: there is an official speech on the beach of La Malagueta, fireworks at the port, and concerts at the Marina. The festivities last about ten days, which gives you plenty of time to plan your trip well.

In Lorient for the Interceltic Festival | France

Where? Lorient, in Brittany, in the far west of France (map)

When? For exact dates, please check the official website

In Lorient, everything happens in the first half of August. The city becomes the centre of the Celtic world, with up to 800,000 spectators welcomed annually. What’s on the program? Concerts and dance performances. The Festival Interceltiques de Lorient also hosts musical competitions, such as the national bagadoù championship events, dances such as those of the War ‘l Leur federation, and competitions specific to the festival. Obviously, there are other events such as parades and cultural discovery activities for adults and children alike.

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In London for the Notting Hill Carnival | UK

Where? Notting Hill, North West London (map)

When? Every weekend before the last Monday in August

This neighbourhood carnival, initiated by immigrants from the Caribbean and particularly those from Trinidad, takes place the Sunday and Monday before the last Monday in August, which is a public holiday in the United Kingdom. It first took place in 1966, when the event was acerbic and often enamelled with violence, it has changed completely. The revellers parade in groups of “masqueraders” behind large sound systems. Samba schools also join the procession, and each group is scored by a jury as part of a competition.

In Edinburgh for the Edinburgh International Festival | UK

Where? Edinburgh, capital of Scotland (map)

When? For the dates of the next edition, go to the official website of the Festival

The Edinburgh International Festival, founded in 1947, brings the theatres of Scotland’s capital to life with the best in music, theatre, opera, and dance from around the world. Events related to the festival also take place throughout the year. To prepare for each festival, a team travels around the world in search of new talent and unprecedented collaborations.

In Budapest for the Sziget Festival | Hungary

Where? Budapest, capital of Hungary (map)

When? For the dates of the next edition, go to the official website

This festival, which wants to be the European Woodstock, was created in 1993, on the banks of the Danube in the Hungarian capital. Since then, it has only grown in success, and for good reason: all the biggest music groups have performed there, and the artists really appreciate this festival. It is popular with spectators too, judging by their numbers: nearly 500,000 festival-goers flock there each year, which makes Sziget the largest music event on the continent. The program is eclectic: in addition to music, there is open-air cinema, contemporary dance, exhibitions, stage and street theatre, acrobatic circus, spaces for discussion and debate, readings of literature Hungarian in foreign languages, and sports…

In Gotland for Medieval Week | Sweden

Where? Gotland, an island in southeastern Sweden (map)

When? For the dates of the next edition, go to this site

This is one of the highlights of the year for all lovers of the medieval period, and there are many: in one week, the island of Gotland welcomes nearly 40,000 visitors to 600 events. There is a wide variety of attractions, including games, markets, concerts, street theatre, fire shows, storytelling, walks, and even conferences. It is a real leap in time!

(Credit: Helen Simonsson / Flickr / CC)

In Oslo for the Oslo Jazz Festival | Norway

Where? Oslo, capital of Norway, in the south of the country (map)

When? For the dates of the next edition, go to the official website of the Festival

For eight days in August, Oslo celebrates jazz in all its forms. And if you like this style of music, you have to go there at least once in your life. You will find all styles of jazz there, and the programming is particularly elaborate: the organizers already have more than thirty years of experience. While world-renowned headliners are present, the event is also an opportunity to discover new talent.

There you have it, our little list of destinations in Europe for a trip to in August is over. But it is obviously not exhaustive, so don’t hesitate to share your ideas with us in the comments!

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