8 Best Festivals To Experience In Europe In The Fall 2023

Fall in Europe offers a compelling reason to explore a rich tapestry of cultural experiences. Oktoberfest in Germany invites you to revel in Bavarian tradition with its lively atmosphere and iconic beer celebration. In Spain, La Mercè showcases the vibrant spirit of Barcelona through art, music, and fireworks. 

Ireland’s Galway International Oyster & Seafood Festival serves up fresh seafood delights amid a backdrop of Irish charm. Meanwhile, the Boppard Wine Festival in Germany invites you to savor exquisite wines in the scenic Rhine Valley. These autumn events offer a taste of Europe’s diverse culture and flavors.

La Mercè (September 22-25)

La Mercè, Barcelona’s largest annual festival, embodies the essence of this extraordinary city. Look forward to street concerts, mesmerizing light shows, acrobatic performances, captivating parades, including the awe-inspiring procession of the “giants,” impressive human tower formations known as castellers, exhilarating fire and drum spectacles, and a host of other captivating attractions. In summary, there is no finer moment to experience the vibrant spirit of Barcelona than during La Mercè.

Cannstatter Volksfest (September 22 – October 8) 

Germany’s other major annual autumn festival is held in a picturesque location on the banks of the Neckar River in Stuttgart. in 2023 it will be held for the 175th time. You could call the Cannstatter Volksfest the “little brother of Oktoberfest,” as it offers a similar atmosphere with beer tents, amusement rides and regional food, but with a distinctly Swabian touch and a higher percentage of locals compared to visitors. Since the festivals overlap, you should visit both and find out which is your favorite.

Boppard Wine Festival (September 22 – October 1) 

No trip to the romantic Middle Rhine region of Germany is complete without a wine tasting, and this festival provides the perfect opportunity.

Boppard is an idyllic riverside town whose climate favors an early riesling harvest, which will be celebrated extensively during the festival. Take a cruise on the Rhine before or after the festival to enjoy it to the fullest.

Amsterdam Dance Event (October 18-22)

Picture Amsterdam Dance Event as an equivalent of South by Southwest for electronic dance music. Home to numerous world-class DJs, attending this lively event can turn even the initially indifferent into ardent fans of the genre.

Hundreds of performances and various events take place in the city during this electrifying festival, so there is something for every taste and preference.

Galway International Oyster & Seafood Festival (September 22-24) 

Savor the bounties of the Atlantic Ocean and enjoy an exhilarating time at this gastronomic festival set in Ireland’s lively western city. Alongside fantastic live music and weekend-long festivities, you can also partake in oyster opening competitions and engaging cooking showcases.

Montmartre Wine Festival (October 11-15) 

For five days each year, the most charming neighborhood of Paris is enlivened by the melodic sounds of live music and the joyous toasts that characterize this cherished occasion, which commemorates the illustrious wine heritage of Montmartre. In its 90th edition in 2023, the Montmartre Wine Festival not only includes culinary festivities and lively parades, but also adopts an Olympic theme to honor the upcoming Summer Olympics in Paris.

Zigante Truffle Days (September 30 – October 29)

Certainly not missing out on the festivities, Croatia’s picturesque Istria region shines a spotlight on its truffle treasures across five weekends during the Truffle Days festival. Hosted in Livade, this event provides ample chances to intimately explore Istrian truffles, savor a plethora of local delicacies, and even engage in truffle hunting demonstrations within the Motovun Forest. It’s a delightful opportunity to immerse yourself in the world of Istrian truffles and culinary delights.

Barcolana Regatta (September 29 – October 8)

This annual event in Trieste, Italy, is the largest sailing regatta in the world, even though the regatta itself is only part of the festivities. The regatta reaches its climax on the last day of the event.

The days leading up to it are filled with special events that beautifully express this historic city’s deep connection to life by the sea. The climax of the festivities takes place when thousands of sails decorate the Gulf of Trieste, creating a fascinating spectacle that you will remember forever.

Oktoberfest (September 16 – October 3)

Dating back to 1810, Oktoberfest unites individuals from across the globe in a celebration dedicated to Bavarian traditions. During this renowned German festival, millions of beer steins are raised, tens of thousands of pretzels savored, and numerous lasting friendships forged while dancing and singing to folk tunes. Even if you’re not a fan of alcohol, you’ll still thoroughly enjoy the amusement park rides, culinary delights, and the unique festival ambiance that fills the air.

International Alba White Truffle Fair (October 7 – December 3)

Recognized as one of Europe’s premier events for culinary enthusiasts, the International Alba White Truffle Fair pays tribute to the Italian city of Alba and its coveted truffles. Indulge in these exquisite Tubers, along with a wide array of other delectable delights sourced from the Langhe region, a renowned food and drink haven in northwest Italy. Amidst the festivities, enjoy entertaining attractions such as a spirited donkey race and captivating cooking demonstrations, making it an all-encompassing experience for all.